Facebook has filed a lawsuit against a company it has accused of scamming the social network's users by tricking them into unintentionally clicking the "like" button on the site.
The company is joining forces with the Washington State Attorney's office to file a suit which claims that Adscend Media has been operating a "like-jacking" scam in order to generate traffic for its clients.
According to the claim, Adscend tricked users into activating the Facebook "like" feature by requiring a click on the "like" button to view content or by hiding a button underneath another graphic.
Users are then taken to sites which ask for survey participation or subscription to premium services in order to view content.
By tricking users into activating the "like" feature, the pages could then be spread via the Facebook wall and news feed systems.
"We don't 'like' schemes that illegally trick Facebook users into giving up personal information or paying for unwanted subscription services through spam," said Washington State attorney general Rob McKenna.
"We applaud Facebook for devoting significant technical and legal resources to finding and stopping scams as soon as possible, and often before they even start."
Meanwhile, Adscend media has denied the claims. The company said in a posted statement that it would be conducting an internal investigation to find whether any of its affiliates had participating in clickjacking scams.
"If our investigation determines that any affiliate(s) engaged in this improper activity, Adscend will administer its long-standing company policy and immediately terminate the affiliate(s) responsible for these actions, as we have in the past when our internal mechanism has made such discoveries," the company said.
"Adscend Media does not tolerate affiliates that violate the law or Adscend's policies."
The case comes as Facebook looks set to finally file its initial public offering (IPO), which could value the firm as highly as $100bn.
This article was originally published on V3.
Last Week to Save on SES London Tickets!
SES London takes place February 10-13, 2014. Learn to engage customers and increase ROI by distributing your online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Join the leaders of today's digital marketing & advertising industry. Find out more ››
*Saver Rates expire this Friday, Dec 13.
Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for V3.co.uk. He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT