Facebook Hit With New Text-Spam Lawsuit

A Florida resident has sued Facebook for allegedly violating a federal robo-texting law by "bombarding" her with unwanted text messages.

Deborah Roche alleges in a federal lawsuit filed this week in the Northern District of California that Facebook sent her numerous SMS messages inviting her to sign up for the service. "Defendant bombarded Plaintiff’s Number with these unwanted and annoying texts at various times throughout any given day, sometimes as early as 3:20 am," the lawsuit alleges.

The texts allegedly consisted of statements like: "There are 9 people you may know on Facebook," and "Over 150 million people have used the Facebook friend finder. Find the people you care about."

Roche says that Facebook sent her the messages even though she replied with requests for the company to stop texting her. She adds that Facebook continued to send her SMS messages after a lawyer sent the company a cease-and-desist letter.

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Roche alleges that Facebook's messages violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which prohibits companies from using automated dialing systems to send text messages without the recipients' consent.

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on Roche's lawsuit.

Roche isn't the only one suing Facebook for allegedly running afoul of the robo-calling law. In March, the company was hit with a potential class-action lawsuit by Noah Duguid, who alleged that Facebook repeatedly sent him unwanted text messages -- although he doesn't have an account on the service.

Duguid, who says he has never signed up for Facebook, or even provided the company with his phone number, alleges that the company repeatedly sent him notifications stating that someone had logged into his account.

"Facebook operates a broken, robotic text messaging system that -- in violation of federal law -- leaves thousands of U.S. consumers utterly helpless to stop Facebook’s automated messages from gumming up their cellular phones," Duguid said in recent court papers.

Facebook has filed papers asking for Duguid's potential class-action lawsuit to be dismissed. Among other arguments, the company says that its messages regarding log-ins are protected by free speech principles. The Obama administration said recently that it may weigh in on that question. The administration has until Dec. 11 to decide whether to intervene in the case.

1 comment about "Facebook Hit With New Text-Spam Lawsuit".
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  1. Paul Robinson from Viridian Development Corporation, November 11, 2015 at 10:15 p.m.

    I believe very strongly in free speech. I am a bit conflicted here because I also believe someone should be able to stop unwanted material from invading their home, such as the right to have the post office tell a sender not to mail you sexually explicit advertisements. This is especially important where the messages have a potential for costing the recipient money. If someone is using a public medium or is in the public sphere you have to accept that people do have free speech. But excessive pushing of unnecessary, unwanted commercial messages at unreasonable hours into someone's personal, private space, and further, to someone who isn't even a member of their service, seems to be a bit too much to be claiming you should have a right to do so.

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