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Facebook blocks Spinner's 'brainwashing' service

Facebook has taken legal action against an Israeli firm which claims to be able to alter people's behaviour.

The social media platform has issued a cease and desist notice to the Spinner - which charges a fee "subconsciously influence" targets by exposing them to posts "disguised as editorial content" - and objected to the company using its services in this way.

Now, the site has also barred the firm - and its chief and co-founder Elliot Schefler - from using Facebook or Instagram, regardless of the reason.

However, Schefler told the BBC the company would still continue to sell targeted online campaigns, and he has refused to rule out the option of using Facebook again.

The Spinner claims it can "brainwash" people to lose weight, quit smoking and propose marriage, as well as initiating sex with partners more often and even consider having breast implants.

In a letter from Facebook's law firm Perkins Coie, the company has been accused of violating the platform's "terms and advertising policies".

The note reads: "It appears that the Spinner uses fake accounts and fake Facebook Pages to 'strategically bombard' Facebook users with advertisements.

"These activities violate Facebook's terms and advertising policies. Facebook demands that you stop this activity immediately."

Noting that the Spinner's accounts have already been removed, a spokesman added to the BBC: "We have no tolerance for bad actors that try to circumvent our policies and create bad experiences for people on Facebook."

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