UPDATE on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011: Today, U.S. Attorney Melina Huaag announced that Sanford Wallace self-surrendered to agents from the FBI. On July 6, a federal grand jury in San Jose indicted Wallace with multiple counts of fraud for sending unwanted messages and Wall posts to people on Facebook. He now faces serious jail time for this illegal conduct. We applaud the efforts of the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI to bring spammers to justice and will continue to pursue and support both civil and criminal consequences for spammers and others... who attempt to harm Facebook or the people who use our service.
UPDATE on Thursday, Oct. 29: Today, a San Jose, Calif. court awarded Facebook $711 million in damages against Sanford Wallace, one of the spammers who accessed people's accounts without their permission and sent phony Wall posts and messages. While we don't expect to receive the vast majority of the award, we hope that this will act as a continued deterrent against these criminals. Most notably, the judge referred Wallace to the U.S. Attorney's Office with a request that Wallace be prosecuted for criminal contempt, which means that in addition to the judgment, he now faces possible jail time. This is another important victory in our fight against spam. We will continue to pursue damages against other spammers.
Published on Friday, March 6
We hate spam just as much as you do, and we're always working to stop it. Last week, we won a ruling in this ongoing fight. A court in San Jose, California issued a temporary restraining order against three spammers—Sanford Wallace, Adam Arzoomanian and Scott Shaw. They broke the law by sending unwanted messages and wall posts to people on Facebook, which in the United States violates the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the California Anti-Phishing Act and the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM). Now, any contact these spammers have with you or anyone on Facebook could land them in jail.
This isn't the first time we've gone to court to battle spam. Last November, we also told you about our first victory—an $873 million judgment made against Adam Guerbuez and Atlantis Blue Capital for sending sleazy messages to people on Facebook. This was the largest judgment ever for an action brought under CAN-SPAM. We continue to work on collecting as much as possible from Guerbuez and Atlantis Blue (likely far less than the full amount) and have hired a firm to help with this. We're hopeful that this kind of persistent pressure will act as a deterrent against those attempting to trick and annoy people on Facebook.
Of course, this fight requires a team effort. In addition to our dedicated legal team, Facebook also has security experts and engineers focused on the integrity of the site. We're continuing to build systems to prevent and respond to spam attacks. Our User Operations team also works around the clock to identify problems and assist people who've been affected.
We will continue bringing spammers to justice, but we need need your help, too. Report spam by using the links located throughout the site.
Be sure to also check out the tips and information on our Security Page to educate yourself on how to keep your account secure.
Sam O'Rourke from the Facebook legal team is busy keeping you safe from spam.