NGL Labs Settles FTC Case for $1M Over Anonymous Messaging App Violations

Apps & Games / Mobile / Android / NGL Labs Settles FTC Case for $1M Over Anonymous Messaging App Violations
10 Jul 2024

NGL Labs and its co-founders have reached a $2 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission for various law violations related to their anonymous messaging app. The FTC accused the "NGL: ask me anything" app of engaging in harmful practices, such as sending fake messages to users.

The messages, which appeared to come from the user’s social media friends, included intrusive questions and statements. The FTC stated that this practice started in 2022 as a way to increase user engagement with the app. Additionally, the app allegedly misled users into signing up for paid subscriptions by promising to reveal the identities of anonymous messages.

Protecting Children from Harmful Practices

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, who is involved in the lawsuit with the FTC, emphasized the importance of protecting children from such behavior. As part of the settlement, NGL Labs is prohibited from marketing to individuals under the age of 18.

FTC Chair Lina M. Khan criticized NGL Labs for marketing its app to minors despite the risks of cyberbullying and harassment. NGL Labs expressed its belief that the settlement is in its best interest, despite denying some of the allegations regarding its user base.

The settlement is pending approval from a District Court judge and includes measures to prevent similar incidents in the future. NGL Labs hopes that the agreed-upon age restrictions and other procedures will set a positive example for others in the industry and lead to improved policies overall.

Update: 10 Jul 2024