For the most part, nobody makes money off of Facebook. Sure, some people make a living by updating pages for businesses and celebrities, but hardly anyone gets a dime from the site itself.
So, naturally, upon hearing that a class action lawsuit might entitle them to a piece of a $20 million payout, the entire Internet wants to get in on it.
So what qualifies you to get a check from The Zuck himself? Last year, Facebook was featuring people in Sponsored Stories without their permission. While the company believes that it was within its rights to do so (of course), rather than risk being sued for way more, it decided to settle for $20 million.
That's easy. If you were one of the people featured in Sponsored Stories against their will, you should have received an email that looks like this:
The only way this should be a problem is if you don't use the email account you created your profile with anymore. If that's the case, it's time to start racking your brain for all those old passwords.
Claiming your money is simple. Just fill out the claim form and submit it either online or via mail by 11:59 p.m. on May 2, 2013. The whole process should only take a few minutes.
Of course there is! The settlement is for $20 million, and Facebook has over 150 million users in the US, so obviously there's not enough to go around. If the number of claims exceeds the settlement amount, the money will be donated to not-for-profit organizations instead. That means if 2,000,001 users claim their 10 bucks, it will all go to the non-profits.
You can find the full list of organizations in the notice, which you can download here if you didn't get one, but the list includes the Center for Democracy and Technology, the EFF, the Consumer Privacy Rights Fund, and a bunch of law schools.
Considering anyone can submit a claim, there's a very, very good chance that the money will go to charity, so you shouldn't submit one unless you actually got the notice—and if you really need that Hamilton.
But, it wouldn't really be so bad if it works out in the charities' favor since they'll each get a much bigger chunk of the $20 million than users would. Besides, by the time it's settled and checks are sent out, you'll likely have forgotten about it anyway.
What do you think? Will claimants ever see a dime, or is it pretty much guaranteed that it'll go to non-profits? Let us know in the comments below.
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