SPAM King Sets Up Shop On Google+
It’s only been a few months since new social network Google+ emerged on the scene, and after touting how much it’s not like “the other networks,” I’ve already heard users’ concern about spammy content rearing its ugly head. Most are concerned about a repeat of the steady barrage of links to merchandise and porn sites that anyone who has used Twitter for some time has already learned to ignore. Others are concerned about seeing the same game invites they’ve blocked on Facebook. Every Google+ user has already had to glean over thousands of the same animated gifs that once graced MySpace’s pages.
In all of this concern about small fish tossing their links for low-priced iPads or health supplements into Google+’s ocean of content, nobody expected to suddenly find the big whale of Spam himself in the still-clean waters...
Quietly, without fanfare or warning to others, self-proclaimed Spam King Sanford “Spamford” Wallace created a Google+ account, and added his first status update, letting users know that he is “allowed to use” the platform. If you’re one of the 25 million social networking users that have created a Google+ account, I’ll explain why you might want to steer clear of following or interacting with this notorious Internet royal.
On Thursday, Wallace, 43, turned himself in to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, indicted on charges of compromising over 500,000 Facebook accounts in 2008 and 2009, allegedly in an attempted phishing scam.
Jeremy Fogel, the U.S. District Court Judge who banned Spam King Wallace from Facebook in 2009, also saw fit to award Facebook $711 million in damages, to be paid by Wallace for having “willfully violated” the Can Spam Act, which makes “false and misleading” email marketing campaigns illegal.
After being ordered to stay off the popular social site, Wallace is alleged to have created two new, anonymous Facebook accounts. This alleged violation, brought to the attention of Judge Fogel, led to Wallace’s Thursday indictment.
Wallace’s bad online business behavior appears to have a trend, going back to the late 1990s, when he lost his Internet connection for Spam-like behaviors. In 2001, his website PassThisOn.com was found to open multiple windows in an attempt to grab the attention of confused, potential customers. This technique had been largely used by pornography sites, leading to the popularity of pop-up blockers.Continued on the next page