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Facebook clamps down on spoof site

Despite being one of the largest social networking websites, Facebook has fallen to a level that can only be seen as an insecurity issue. The site has taken every possible measure to clamp down on the site...

india Updated: Nov 23, 2010 22:53 IST

Despite being one of the largest social networking websites, Facebook has fallen to a level that can only be seen as an insecurity issue. The site has taken every possible measure to clamp down on the site lamebook.com that attempts to spoof the social networking site.

Not only has Facebook blocked the links to the spoof site, but even removed its page and the Likes for Lamebook. The social networking giant told TechCrunch that it has moved to diligently block all outgoing links to Lamebook.com, shut down the two-person company's Facebook Page (previously at facebook.com/thelamebook), and blocks visitors of the funny site from 'liking' posts to boot.

Facebook has been wanting the spoof site to quit using the name Lamebook, claiming that the activities under that name are an "improper attempt to build a brand that trades off Facebook's popularity and fame", and filed a trademark infringement lawsuit last week.

However, Facebook Chief Technology Officer Bret Taylor has written this statement, explaining that this was a mistake:
"This was a mistake on our part. In the process of dealing with a routine trademark violation issue regarding some links posted to Facebook, we blocked all mentions of the phrase "lamebook" on Facebook. We are committed to promoting free expression on Facebook. We apologize for our mistake in this case, and we are working to fix the process that led to this happening."

This ongoing battle has been on for a while now especially, and even Lamebook refuses to back down. It had earlier filed for declaratory judgment on its non-infringement of Facebook's trademark, saying it operates a parody website and as such is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, TechCrunch reported.

This basically means that Facebook cannot drag Lamebook to court. And so, its trying all else to stifle the site.

In Lamebook's words, "Facebook didn't like us sticking up for ourselves, so they shut down our Fan Page, are preventing any users from "liking" us, and won't even let you share URLs with your friends if they point to Lamebook."

For a tiny startup that relies on those pageviews for income - it's an ad-supported website - Facebook's move could cost them dearly. It is soliciting donations from visitors for its 'Legal Fund' to make up for the losses.

Update: Although Facebook has removed the fan page for Lamabook, it is once again allowing users to upload the link to the site and is even suggesting the page in the Search button. However, the stand of the social networking giant is still rigid.

"Our terms prohibit posting of material or other activities on Facebook that infringe the rights of others. We reserve the right to pull down any content we believe is infringing. We also specifically prohibit use of any Facebook or confusingly similar marks," says the official statement of the website.

Well, only time will tell who wins this clash of the titan with its cheeky dwarf spoof.

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