The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 9, 2013

Facebook may owe 125M 16 cents

SUNBURY — Are you one of the millions who recently received an email about a “Notice of Pending Class Action and Notice of Proposed Settlement — Angel Fraley vs. Facebook Inc.?”

If you opened it, you read that you may be among those in a lawsuit against Facebook for violating privacy rights and if so, you may be entitled to a piece of any proposed settlement money.


Yes, really. It sounds like a scam, but it’s not.

Don’t get too excited. If you actually file a claim, you aren’t going to get rich. At the most, you may get up to $10.  

We received a lot of calls and emails from readers wondering about the legitimacy of this notice, most from people who had already deleted it as suspected spam.

In a Jan. 26, 2012, article, reported that “Fraley vs. Facebook” came from Facebook’s decision in 2011 to put users in ’Sponsored Story’ ads based on things users had ’Liked.’ The ads didn’t always reflect the context in which someone ’Liked’ something, as the dude who famously wound up promoting a 55-gallon drum of sexual lubricant last Valentine’s Day can attest, and there was no way of opting out, beyond not Liking anything.“ (Read more about that by going to and search for ”Angel Fraley“).

“Within three months of the announcement, an enterprising group of five plaintiffs led by seamstress Angel Fraley sued Facebook in California saying the company had violated the law by using their names and likenesses in ads without their permission and without paying them. (Lead plaintiff Fraley later dropped out of the suit, citing Facebook lawyers’ aggressive tactics, which basically consisted of digging up embarrassing material about her from her Facebook account.)”

The suit was revised to award money to Facebook members for using their personal information — for a whopping $20 million. A hearing on the fairness of the deal is coming up on June 28.

So yes, there’s a chance that some of that $20 million could come your way if you appeared in a Facebook Sponsored Story ad and file a claim.

But not so fast. Know that first, court-determined attorneys fees, costs, and class administration costs will be deducted. That will take the remaining money down to around $12 million, to be divided among everyone who files a claim.

So how many people might you have to share that with? Consider this from Social Bakers: “Facebook has nearly 165 million American users; court filings suggest about 125 million of them got this notice. If they all wanted a piece of the full $20 million pie, they’d get 16-cent slices. If more than 4 million people claim their share, that would mean less than $5 each.”

Your odds are getting worse because according to the settlement, if the amount of money divided by the number of claimants is less than $4.99 each, then the money will instead go to a group of 14 nonprofit organizations involved with, and will use the money for, the public good regarding social media education and outreach as it relates to advertising, minors and privacy.

Bottom line: If 3 million people — or just 2.4 percent of those who received the email notice — apply for a piece of that $12 million, it will take the per-person payment below the $4.99-each threshold. Most likely, the nonprofits will be splitting up the $12 million, each getting in the ballpark of $1 million.

But you can think positively — each person who deleted the email notice increases your chances of getting a (tiny) share.

Text Only
  • Ritz-Craft Ritz-Craft to hire 60 for Mifflinburg plant

    MIFFLINBURG — Sixty jobs are coming to Mifflinburg as a Ritz-Craft production facility that went dark seven years ago amid the housing downturn will come back on line during the next few months, company officials announced Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Selinsgrove man dies when tractor flips in Chapman Township

    PORT TREVORTON — A 57-year-old Selinsgrove man died Tuesday evening when the farm tractor he was driving overturned and pinned him beneath it, according to Snyder County Coroner Bruce Hummel.

    July 29, 2014

  • VanKirk 'Real hero' of World War II dies

    ATLANTA, Ga. — Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, died Monday of natural causes in the retirement home where he lived in Georgia. He was 93.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mayor: Rental ban for drug dealers a success

    SUNBURY — A controversial landlord-tenant ordinance passed by the City Council in 2012 has become one of Sunbury’s “better success stories,” Mayor David Persing said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Mom cited for allegedly leaving baby in car for 12 minutes

    LEWISBURG — A summary citation carrying a maximum fine of $127.50 was filed Tuesday against a Lewisburg woman accused of leaving her 10-month-old baby unattended for 12 minutes in a car in Union County on July 21.

    July 29, 2014

  • Line Mountain district, teachers $1.2M apart in contract talks

    MANDATA — Separate proposals from the Line Mountain School District and its teachers union are $1.2 million apart and not getting any closer, according to Benjamin L. Pratt, the district’s labor counsel at the CGA Law Firm.

    July 29, 2014

  • Road work: Expect traffic delays on Route 54 near Danville

    RIVERSIDE — Motorists in the Danville-Riverside area are advised that a 2.2-mile micro-surfacing project on Route 54 from Riverside borough to Boyd Station in Northumberland County will begin this afternoon.

    July 29, 2014

  • Blood trail leads to stabbing suspect in Montour County

    DANVILLE — Borough police followed a trail of blood along a sidewalk, up a staircase and down a hallway that led to a moaning woman who they say knifed another woman Sunday night.

    July 29, 2014

  • Spencer_Maria1.jpg Maria Spencer charged with murdering her ex-husband

    SELINSGROVE — On Monday, a little more than two years after Frank Spencer was executed outside his Columbia County home, his former wife and her father were charged in his murder and the attempted homicide of Spencer’s girlfriend.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Opponents, supporters to discuss clean air rules

    DENVER — Hundreds of people are expected to attend public hearings this week in a handful of cities across the U.S. to tell federal regulators what they think of proposed rules to cut pollution from power plants.

    July 29, 2014

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.