|Settlement Ends Third Party ‘Lifejacking’ on Facebook|
Have you ever received a Facebook notification that appeared to be from a friend recommending a page or service that just seemed a little off or out of character to you? There’s a good chance it wasn’t from anyone you know at all, but from an online spammer impersonating a friend.
Also commonly referred to as ‘Lifejacking,' this process is used by spammers to attempt to obtain personal information and potentially get users to sign up for something that they never really wanted in the first place. Now, in a settlement reached with the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, one company accused of engaging in this practice has agreed to stop.
California-based Adscend Media has admitted to Lifejacking and other deceptive tactics that led some Facebook users to give their personal information or buy subscription services from sites that appeared to be recommended by friends. Many of these offers involved provocative and explicit material that would eventually lead users to commercial websites.
In other situations, users were tricked into clicking the ‘like’ button, unknowingly spreading the same deceptive sales pitches to all of their Facebook friends.
The settlement now prohibits Adscend and its affiliates from distributing messages that contain misleading content, or those that conceal the true identity of the sender. Any new ads must clearly state that they actually originate from an affiliate trying to generate a sales commission from a commercial advertiser.