SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - "A US judge has ordered a pair of accused spammers to pay MySpace about 230 million dollars in what was being billed Wednesday as a record-setting punishment for such Internet abuses.
Federal district court judge Audrey Collins issued a judgment against Sanford Wallace and Walter Rines this week after they didn't show up in her California courtroom for a hearing in the case.
News Corp-owned MySpace accused the pair of using their own or other customers' MySpace accounts to deluge the online community with email that tricked them into linking to sales pitches or websites that earned the men "per hit" payments. Some of the websites contained "adult material" that put its young users in jeopardy, MySpace said in court documents.
Wallace and Rines crafted emails to appear as though they were from friends of users of the social networking site whose messages could be trusted, according to court filings. The two men were accused of sending more than 725,000 email messages to MySpace members in violation of US anti-spam law.
MySpace use has climbed in the past year while spam at the website has decreased, signaling that efforts such as the lawsuit are helping reduce the problem, MySpace chief security officer Hemanshu Nigam told AFP.
"We thank the court for serving justice upon defendants Wallace and Rines and we remain committed to punishing those who violate the law and try to harm our members," Nigam wrote in response to questions. "MySpace has zero tolerance for those who attempt to act illegally on our site.""
Source: Yahoo! News