One of the downsides of being a worldwide tech juggernaut with two billion monthly users is that day-to-day business means playing legal whack-a-mole at all times. For Facebook, one legal problem has ended and another has just begun.
Notorious copyright trolls Paul R. Hansmeier and John L. Steele were indicted by the feds back in December on multiple charges of fraud. The two were accused of running a complicated scheme in which they preyed on people who illegally downloaded porn. Today, one of them admitted his guilt in a plea bargain.
Wikipedia is no stranger to scandals, but a quiet update on its administrators’ announcement board reveals a big problem. The site’s CheckUser team recently banned 381 editors’ accounts for “undisclosed paid advocacy.” In other words, these Wikipedians were secretly shilling for brands and even resorting to extortion.
AOL tried to squeeze a little over $100 in fees from a customer for upgrades he hadn't asked for, hadn't approved, hadn't used and of which he hadn't even been notified. Unluckily for AOL, that customer is a professional writer.
Okay, now the clocks have gone too far. The BanClock extorts money from you in order to shut the fuck up. Here's one device we hope will stay in Japan, where they're selling it right now for $50. But it looks like it would be easy to defeat, with a simple unplug instead of giving up the cash.