Facebook Settles Texting Dispute

Dennis Faas's picture

Shortly after purchasing new cellular service from Verizon Wireless in November 2006, Lindsey Abrams of Patriot, Indiana began receiving explicit, 'adult' text messages on her phone. The unsolicited texts were delivered to her via Facebook, whose systems believed the number still belonged to its previous owner. Abrams was forced to shell out 10 cents for every message, and eventually became fed up and sued the social networking site. (Source: wirelessweek.com)

Ms. Abrams' lawyers had hoped to extend the allegations into a class action lawsuit claiming that thousands of unsolicited texts were sent to recycled phone numbers across the US some of which were owned by children. The suit also claimed that the social networking site was sharing in the profit from text messages sent through its site. In a settlement announced last week, Facebook did not admit any fault, but agreed to adopt measures that will prevent its members from sending messages to outdated cell numbers working closely with wireless carriers to reduce the chances of unsolicited texts being delivered to unsuspecting recipients. Facebook also agreed to cover Abrams' legal fees. (Source: msn.com)

The law firm representing the plaintiff, KamberEdelson, is looking to become a leader in protecting the rights of Internet and cell phone users.

Many experts believe this area of litigation is ripe for plaintiffs to assert their rights, as the web and other consumer technologies are still a legal grey area. Scott Kamber, lead attorney for KamberEdelson said, "With each settlement, we're able to define legal rights that pertain to the relations between corporations and individuals in the digital age."

With Facebook's explosive growth -- close to 40 million members in the last eight months -- these types of lawsuits are bound to come up from time to time. According to Facebook's 'Terms of Service', users may not "upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make available any content that we deem to be...vulgar, obscene, or otherwise objectionable." As of last week, no reports mentioned if the members who sent the lewd messages would suffer any penalties.

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