At the end of January, 2012 news hit the wires that Facebook was involved in another lawsuit. But this time around, it wasn’t angry consumers or countries suing the technology firm, oh no, this time around, it was Facebook who was doing the suing. In conjunction with Washington State Attorney General, Rob McKenna, in late January 2012, Zuckerberg’s lawyer’s filed claims against Adscend Media. The accusations? Engaging in illegal “likejacking.”
What is Likejacking?
Like its predecessor, clickjacking, likejacking is the practice of getting someone to click on something ostensibly deceptive, which causes a different action than what the user thinks they’re initiating. Since Facebook has become the social networking powerhouse, many affiliate marketers use techniques to market products on the platform. A popular method is “likejacking,” which helps to augment the number of likes in a short period of time.
Who is Adscent Media?
Delaware-based Adscent Media is the target of this double-pronged suit. Adscent Media would probably describe themselves as an online marketing and ad firm, while Facebook and the Washington AG may use something more like “spam promoter.”
The Lawsuits Against The Likejackers
McKenna filed his papers with the U.S. District Court in Seattle. The claim argued that Adscent violated the CAN-SPAM Act, Washington State’s Consumer Protection Act, which guards against deceptive business practices, and the state’s Commercial Electronic Mail Act – a bill that makes illegal “the misrepresentation or obfuscation of origin points or transmission paths in electronic communications.”
Facebook’s lawsuit was filed separately in a Northern District of California Federal Court, but the details weren’t discussed in the initial announcement. Facebook’s lead litigation counsel, Craig Clark, did warn: “Facebook’s security professionals have made tremendous strides against this particular form of attack and we are intent on eradicating it completely.”
Wondering about the legality of your online marketing techniques? Aaron Kelly is an Internet lawyer very well-versed in the “technicalities” of tech law. Get in touch and he’ll make sure your operation stays on the right side of the law…innovatively.