Social Networking Site Slapped With $650K Fine By S.F.

Don't push that button!
A B-reel social networking site known as has been hit with a $650,000 fine from the San Francisco District Attorney's office for sending tens of millions of e-mails that duped recipients into unwittingly sharing private information.

District Attorney Kamala Harris announced at a press conference this afternoon that her office has reached a settlement with the San Francisco-based company, which last spring laid claim to the august title of third-largest social-networking site on the Web. (It's okay. We had never heard of them either.) In addition to the $650,000 owed to the D.A.'s office in civil penalties and investigative costs, agreed to an injunction barring it from sending more misleading e-mails to potential customers.

Harris asserts that from April to June 2009, sent an estimated 40 to 60 million e-mails falsely informing people that they had private messages from members of the site. Before the recipients could access these messages -- which Harris says did not exist in most cases -- they were required to complete a registration process that led them to unknowingly give access to their e-mail contact list. Phony e-mails were then sent out to that list of names, and so on.

"Simply put, companies, whether they are on Main Street or in cyberspace, cannot be allowed to deceive their customers and consumers," Harris said at the press conference. "This was purely deceptive, on its face."

Who knows? Maybe this bad press is exactly what needs to start rivaling Facebook or MySpace for name recognition.

Photo   |   Kodomut

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