Facebook to Pay $10 Million to Charity to Settle Ad Lawsuit

At least one of Facebook’s legal problems has been cleared up: The social network has agreed to pay $10 million to charity to settle a lawsuit over its use of “social” advertising.

According to Reuters, the settlement was reached last month but made public this weekend.

The lawsuit was over a type of Facebook ad called a “Sponsored Story,” which is generated after a Facebook user clicks the “Like” button. An ad would then appear on a friend’s page, asserting that the person “Likes” the advertiser.

In December, a judge denied Facebook’s request to throw out a lawsuit brought by five Facebook members. The plaintiffs alleged that the social networking site violated California law by publicizing users’ “Likes” without paying them or giving them a way to opt out.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work