Poor Adam Guerbuez. The self-styled online marketer posted over four million spam messages on Facebook in early 2008 and was slapped with a $US100 fine for each message. With the exchange rate, he owes $US1,068,928,721.46.
Guerbuez, who hails from Montreal, was initially hit with the fine by a Californian court in 2008. The Quebec Superior Court upheld the ruling last week.
The superspammer posed as a friend to users and used software to automatically post advertisements on their walls for products related to marijuana, erectile dysfunction and penis enlargement. Four. million. times. That's a lot of penis on a lot of walls. The Quebec Superior Court Justice Lise Fournier said that Guerbeuz's spam was unparalleled for Facebook:
Facebook had never been targeted by as much spam and the method used was particularly efficient given that the spam appeared to be coming from users' friends.
Guerbuez's lawyer says the fines are excessive and have "no proportion with any of the loss or the profits sustained", though the judge said he made "very significant revenues" from the advertisements. Guerbuez declared bankruptcy in recent months, though it's unclear what that means for paying his exorbitant fine.
Anyway, Guerbuez himself doesn't understand what the fuss is all about. "If there's anything that does hit my email box that I didn't ask to receive, I'll simply press the delete button," he said on his website. "That's what it's on the keyboard for." [CTA and CNews]