November 07, 2003

Is It "Hoist Me By My Own Petard" Day? - FTC accuses pop-up maker of 'extortion' - Nov. 7, 2003

A little odd, to say the least... Pop-up ads which use Windows Messenger to advertise something that blocks Windows Messenger, and the FTC is suing for extortion.

Normally, suing a spammer and highligting a Windows problem are two things I delight in regailing. But this one's a little weird: extortion? I mean, come on -- EXTORTION?

I can see the FTC spokesperson's point if you couldn't stop it yourself. But it's actually pretty easy to stop: I found one that disables it because my team lead was hitting me with messages all the time. It's free. I did it in less than 10 minutes. Microsoft has instructions on their web site to disable the function.

It's reactions like this that make it more difficult for people to sue when they're actually wronged: how many times have you heard the "little old lady and Micky D's coffee" story when someone's talking about making it harder to sue? We really need to get the FTC chairman some Valium and a geek to hold his hand.

Posted by Ted Stevko at November 7, 2003 09:37 PM | TrackBack