Facebook and the state of Washington have taken a Delaware-based media company, Adscend Media to court for a process called “clickjacking”. According to reports, clickjacking is a process of scamming users, of say, Facebook, to give hand over access to personal information by making them visit advertising sites. The process is also 'viral', because the process involves friends, too. The way it works is a 'bait' is sent through Facebook, seemingly from friends, and it's often a promise to a link of something 'naughty' or provocative. Users are often made to like a page and also be taken through a set of pages with survey questions with the promise of getting to the link with provocative content.

Clickjackers get taken to court

Clickjackers taken to court

The pages that Facebook users are usually taken away to are not only surveys that mandate the Facebook user to hand over personal content, but also pages where users are made to sign up for expensive mobile phone subscriptions. When clicking the “Like” button on the first bait page, users' friends are notified of this on their Newsfeeds and are put in a position to become victims of the scam as well. One such scam link is “A man takes a picture of himself everyday for 8 years”. In some cases, a code is embedded into the page, so that even if the user doesn't click “Like”, it will still appear on their friends' Newsfeed as a liked page. As a result, the scam is also called “Likejacking”.

According to the state attorney general's office, the scam has generated $1.2 million a month for Adscend Media. The company benefits from the scam by collecting money from Facebook users that have visited certain ads or signed up for subscription services. The company is charged with misleading or deceptive commercial electronic communications and unfair business practices.


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