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Firm faces heat after “jerk” labels

Posted by: Alejandra Matos under Businesses in hot water Updated: April 7, 2014 - 4:39 PM

A company that allegedly labeled millions of Facebook users as a “jerk” or “not a jerk” is facing federal scrutiny after the agency said it improperly obtained information to create user profiles.

The Federal Trade Commission filed an administrative complaint against Jerk.com and its Massachusetts owner, John Fanning, for creating profiles for more than 73 million people, including children, by using their Facebook profiles and then charging them $30 to change the info on the profile. The profiles often appeared in search engine results when searching for an individual’s name, the FTC said.

Jerk.com claimed other users created the profiles, but the FTC alleges the profiles were created from personal information that was improperly obtained from Facebook profiles.

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