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FTC Settles Federal Charges against AdultFriendFinder

On December 6, 2007, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) resolved all federal accusations against the online sex and adult dating site AdultFriendFinder.com (AFF), declaring that the community could not bombard the unsuspecting users with pornographic pop-ups.

AdultFriendFinder.com, that advertizes itself as "The Leading Sex & Swingers Personal Community", and its associates, extensively make use of pop-up advertisements to push visitors to its sites. A number of these advertisements contain explicit images of sexual acts, subjecting users and kids both to pornographic pictures.

Users who were surfing the Internet applying words like "blossom," "travel," and "holidays" were exposed to these ads. In some instances, the suspect's pornographic ads were circulated by the means of adware and spyware.

The operator of the website, the Palo Alto, California-based Various Inc., has decided to straighten out its advertising methods and take permission from users before showing their ads.

The settlement bans the suspect from showing any pornographic ads to users unless and until they are earnestly looking for pornographic matter or they have agreed to watch the pornographic content, the FTC declared.

The suspect has to take necessary measures to check that its associates also abide by the ban, and should terminate its tie-up with any collaborator who does not conform to it. It expects the suspect to create a web-based system for users to register their complaints.

The President and CEO at Sunbelt Software, Alex Eckelberry, wrote on his firm's blogspace that AdultFriendFinder.com's partners employ very hard-hitting techniques to push visitors to the site, as reported on December 7, 2007 by SCmagazine.

Their ads have also been spotted in bogus pages of social-networking websites extensively, and there have been many false 'friend' requests via these networks, which are just intended to supply the website with further customers. Though this may or may not be the total handiwork of AFF, but still it's their duty, alleged Alex.

Leading spyware expert, Ben Edelman, stated that unsolicited sexually explicit ads are a general trouble, reported PCworld on December 6, 2007. Unsolicited ads related to pornographic matters mostly result from the extensive unaccountability present in the world of spywares, added Edelman.

Related article: FTC Reaches Million-Dollar Settlement For Spyware

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