No, You Don't Get To Sue Facebook Because Your Account Got Hacked

from the sorry,-try-again dept

A guy in Florida has apparently sued Facebook because his account got hacked and started sending out links to a virus. He's claiming that the site failed to protect its users, and he's upset that, even though he got his account back, he lost his photos and had to re-add his friends. He's only asking for $70.50 ($0.30 for every friend he had to re-add), which got a bit of a joking response from Facebook:
"We're very interested to hear how he came up with the figure of $70.50," Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt wrote in an e-mail to CNET News. "He's not going to get it but we promise to refund all the money he paid to use Facebook. Seriously, we're glad to know how important Facebook is to Mr. Karantsalis but his account was not disabled, is currently active, and he is using it, so I'm not sure what the problem is."
Facebook can afford to laugh since the case appears to have no legal merit. Section 230 clearly protects Facebook from liability in this situation (as it should), and the case law on similar cases backs that up. In fact, Eric Goldman notes that: "If anything, Karantsalis might be on the hook to Facebook for filing such a meritless lawsuit." The guy claims he filed the lawsuit to make a point, but the point he may end up making is that you shouldn't file frivolous lawsuits just because you don't like how things happened.

Filed Under: hacked, section 230, virus
Companies: facebook

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 May 2009 @ 5:55am

    The lawsuit is questionable, but the point is not. When you signup to facebook, you agree to terms and conditions. In offering the public the product, Facebook potentially becomes subject to all sorts of consumer protection laws, etc.

    Facebook's dismissal of "we will refund all that he paid" is amusing, but fails to address the income generated by Facebook from this client. The client paid with his attention, which turned into cash to Facebook. It isn't entirely honest to suggest that Facebook does not earn cash income from having these clients.

    Now, if he had brought a class action suit... ;)

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