Class action brought against Facebook for sponsored posts - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Class action brought against Facebook for sponsored posts

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PHOENIX -

With so much spam email out there -- you may have dismissed an e-mail in your inbox from Facebook regarding a class action lawsuit.

A lot of people hit the delete button thinking it's a scam, but it turns out the lawsuit is real. If you're willing to file a claim, you could get a check in the mail.

The title of the email: "Notice of Pending Class Action and Notice of Proposed Settlement." Thousands logged on and found it in their inbox, including Facebook user Marcus Steele.

"I said move on, moved it to the trash bin," says Steele.

But it's actually not a scam -- it's a legitimate lawsuit filed in California -- and it centers around those sponsored stories you see next to your news feed. Attorney Maria Speth explains.

"What Facebook was doing -- if you liked a business page and they were using it to sell ads to the business and the business would pay for a sponsored ad on the side that said ‘John Doe likes Starbucks,'" says Maria Speth, Jaburg & Wilk.

The problem, says Speth, is that by law Facebook doesn't have permission to use a user's name or image without their permission.

So Facebook agreed to a settlement of $20 million, but if you're hoping for a hefty paycheck --think again -- the most you could get is $10.

In order to see any money at all, you have to fill out a claim.

"If you're going to fill out a claim that you believe your name was used in this way, you have to say that you didn't know it would be commercialized and you have to say you were injured by it," says Speth.

Even though the money isn't much, some Facebook users say the message it sends is far more valuable.

"Kind of shows Facebook, they shouldn't be doing those things and they should take more action to protect their users," says Facebook user Allison Girvin.

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