The Washington State Attorney General’s Office today announced a settlement in a case brought earlier this year against a company accused of tricking Facebook users into clicking the “like” button and giving their personal information under false and misleading pretenses.
The practice, known as “likejacking,” allegedly lured Facebook users into clicking through and giving personal information based on the false promise of “scandalous or provocative content” that spread virally through the popular social network.
The company, Adscend Media LLC, agreed to pay $100,000 in attorney’s fees, but admitted no wrongdoing. The settlement was a fraction of the $20 million in annual revenue that Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna had alleged Adscend was generating.
Adscend CEO Fehzan Ali tells CNET News.com that those estimates were “insanely inaccurate,” and that the settlement requires steps that Adscend was already taking. The company’s lawyer tells CNET that the suit was “an election-year stunt gone wrong.” McKenna is a Republican candidate for Washington governor.
Assistant Attorney General Paula Selis, who brought the case, tells the site that the suit wasn’t politically motivated.
The settlement requires Adscend to identify its messages as advertisements and to actively monitor and crack down on the activities of its affiliates.