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US claims operators of website jerk.com misled Internet users

WASHINGTON--The Federal Trade Commission says the operators of a website called Jerk.com are the ones behaving badly.

The commission said Monday the website harvested personal information from Facebook to create profiles labeling people a “Jerk” or “not a Jerk.”

Jerk allegedly charged consumers US$25 to email the company's customer service department. Consumers were then told they could pay US$30 to revise the online profile but got nothing in return. The site also made consumers believe the content had been created by other users, not the company.

The FTC estimates that Jerk LLC, the Boston-area based parent company behind the site, and John Fanning, its operator, created profiles for more than 73 million people — including children — between 2009 and 2013.

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