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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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik