Facebook has won its case against a Montreal spammer who bombarded users with explicit messages.
Last Friday, a California court ordered Adam Guerbuez and his company Atlantis Blue Capital to pay the popular social networking site $873 million in damages for spamming registered users on the site.
The victory, sealed with a judge's order, probably won't yield a windfall for privately held Facebook Inc.,whose revenue this year is expected to range between $250 million to $300 million.
Guerbuez was accused of using Facebook to solicit e-mail addresses and passwords, which he used to send more than four million messages singing marijuana's praises, or containing sexually explicit material.
Facebook filed the civil case under the U.S. 2003 anti-spam legislation known as CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act).
It will probably be difficult to collect the damages granted by the court, but the decision could discourage future spammers from using Facebook as their platform, the Palo Alto-based company said.
"Everyone who participates constructively in Facebook should feel confident that we are fighting hard to protect you against spam and other online nuisances," Max Kelly, Facebook's director of security, wrote Monday on the company's blog.
Court records indicate Guerbuez has been difficult to find since Facebook sued him four months ago.
Efforts to reach Guerbuez for comment on Monday were unsuccessful.
He has been banned from Facebook for life.