Facebook has won yet another lawsuit against a spammer and walked away with a hefty judgment in their favor, but does anyone care? Even Facebook themselves admit their victory doesn’t mean much and their chances of collecting are slim.
“Does Facebook expect to quickly collect $873 million and share the proceeds in some way with our users? Alas, no. It’s unlikely that Geurbez and Atlantis Blue Capital could ever honor the judgment rendered against them (though we will certainly collect everything we can). But we are confident that this award represents a powerful deterrent to anyone and everyone who would seek to abuse Facebook and its users,” said Max Kelly, Facebook Security chief.
The social network successfully sued Adam Guerbuez of Montrealand his company Atlantis Blue Capital under the CAN-SPAM Act. Facebook says Guerbuez used a combination of phishing attacks and spam to trick users into turning over their login info after which he took over their accounts to spam the site.
While companies generally sue spammers in hopes it will act as a deterrent, in most cases it is a waste of time and money. Spammers rarely bother to acknowledge such suits let alone show up in court. Most don’t even live in the U.S. and are more or less judgment-proof as a result. The few U.S.-based spammers that were successfully sued simply filed for bankruptcy to avoid having to pay, and almost all spammers who are sued keep right on spamming.
So is there really any point to suing? Not really.