Friday, January 4, 2013


Did you get a notice in your email of a "NOTICE OF PENDING CLASS ACTION AND NOTICE OF PROPOSED SETTLEMENT"???    Are you wondering if this is real or not??

Well, it is real my friend, and you could be entitled to up to $10 from Facebook.

Whats the story?  Whats the catch?

The story...  Long story short there were 5 Facebook members who filed a lawsuit against Facebook  for showing what advertisers they "liked" without paying them for showing up in the advertisements and without giving the members a way to "opt out" of being featured in the ads.  The ads are commonly referred to on Facebook as "Sponsored Stories".  The 5 members are seeking class-action status citing that the case could involve upwards of 100 million Facebook members. 

The proposed settlement says that Facebook will agree to put $20 million into a fund that will pay attorneys' fees for the settlement, any costs incurred by the settlement administrator and up to $10 to each class action member who submits a valid and timely claim form.  Facebook will also be forced to revise their terms of service, allow members to view which sponsored stories they are appearing in, and make changes so that parents or gaurdians of children under the age of 18 will have the ability to control whether their children's names and profile pictures are used on sponsored stories. 

The catch...  Facebook has only agreed to pay $20 million towards paying claims to the class action lawsuit members.  A lot of that will be used to pay attorney fees and administration fees.  Whatever is left will be divided equally among all class action members.  SO, even though you may be eligible for $10, what you will actually recieve will be determined by how many people actually register to be a part of the lawsuit.  So hypothetically if $12 million is left after the lawyers and administrators take their cut, and 2.4 million people are authorized as class members, each member will get $5.  If 4.8 million people qualify you would only get $2.50.  If enough people qualifiy to make it "economically infeasible" to pay money to each person, all of the money will be donated to charity.  With over 100 million people eligible for the lawsuit, it is a very real possibility that all of the money will go to charity. 

The charities... If enough people sign up to make it silly to try and split the money up (i.e 50 million people sign up for 10 - 12 million dollars which would give everyone only 20 - 24 cents each) these are the charities that will recieve the money; Center for Democracy and Technology, Electronic Frontier Foundation, MacArthurFoundation, Joan Ganz Cooney Center, Berkman Center for Internet and Society (Harvard Law School), Information Law Institute (NYU Law School), Berkeley Center for Law and Technology (Berkeley Law School), Center for Internet and Society (Stanford Law School), High Tech Law Institute (Santa Clara University School of Law), Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood, Consumers Federation of America, Consumer Privacy Rights Fund,, and

Each of those charities are set up to help teach social media awareness to children and adults. And some of them are set up to research marketing in social media and how it affects the general population.

If you would like more information you can visit these sites;

To see the whole settlement you can download this pdf.


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