back to article Facebook shells out $10m for using users faces in adverts

Facebook has settled a suit that could have seen it compensating 150 million people in the United States. Facebook will pay out $10m to charity to settle a class action lawsuit that challenged the social network for using punters' mugshots in adverts. The case was settled on Friday, 15 June, and Facebook have agreed to pay …


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  1. John70

    How Many??

    Facebook has settled a suit that could have seen it compensating 150 billion people in the United "States."

    150 billion people? Facbook making people up now to improve their shares?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How Many??

      If thats the user numbers they're publicising, look out for a share price crash when investors get around to realising that the planet only has a population of only 7bn ...

      ... where have the other 143bn users come from?

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: How Many??

        "where have the other 143bn users come from?"

        Well Facebook managed a multi-billion IPO on the promise that one day it might make money. Perhaps the user figures are just projected as well. It's the same principle, after all. ;)

  2. MrXavia

    More reasons to stop using Facebook...

    The question is there a good alternative for those of use who want to share pictures/updates with our friends? and JUST our friends?

    1. PaulR79

      Google+ will allow that. It's such a shame they launched so late in the game that people are too attached to Farcebook to change or are against it for not being Facebore / another social network / Google.

      1. Fibbles

        The guy wants to avoid dodgy advertising practices and you suggest he move to the social network of the internet's biggest advertising company? It's very naive to think Google won't be doing exactly the same thing once they've gained enough market share.

        1. PaulR79


          Actually he asked where he could share photos to a strict set of people, I gave a suggestion that allows that. I make no claims to know what Google plan if it ever becomes more widespread than it is currently and I rarely use it myself.

    2. Mike Flugennock

      sharing alternative?

      The question is there a good alternative for those of use who want to share pictures/updates with our friends? and JUST our friends?

      I've always believed that there isn't anything you can do with Farcebook that can't be done with a properly-maintained listserv or simple cc: list -- or, perhaps, an invitation-only blog -- with the added benefit of not having to deal with Mark Fuckerberg.

      1. LinkOfHyrule

        Re: sharing alternative?

        I know of new FB alternative. It's called 'The Pub'.

        It allows it's users the chance to share information with one another, make new contacts, play games, be social and even get into stupid tit for tat arguments over nothing just as you can on Facebook!

        Mine the one that smells of stale beer

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      There were pie-in-the-sky plans for an open source peer-to-peer alternative, but it was still working on security bugs, last I heard. Unfortunately, Facebook's USP is its ubiquity; imagine being at a party and a girl asks if you are on Facebook, and you reply "Nah, I'm a geek so I use Diaspora. Let me tell you about it..." Even Orkut is only good for keeping in touch with Brazilian acquaintances.

      Facebook has critical mass, and most of the people I know on it aren't likely to adopt a peer-to-peer system- indeed, many now access it from a phone.

      It would be a lovely thing indeed for just the core useful functionality of FB (group messaging for event invitations, photo-sharing, sending your telephone number to a friend of a friend you were chatting to the night before) to be available without the creepy stuff. The work involved in creating its infrastructure is tiny compared to the billions FB has been valued at, and the only reason people visit it is to see words, pictures and music their own friends have created.

      A law forcing FB to allow data to be exported from it would be very welcome, but I don't see it happening.

  3. Piloti

    Numbers ?

    150 Billion ?

    Really ?

    1. Goldmember
      Thumb Up

      Re: Numbers ?

      And it isn't just a typo - '150 billion' is written twice.

      QC much, reg?

      1. Cthonus

        Just my 2 cents

        Of course if the 150 billion needs downgrading it rather devalues the stated $10 million charity gift.

        $0.02 anyone?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Stretch

    Did we find like 25 more planets full of people somewhere? And they all use facebook? No wonder its worth £100 Billion! Oh wait its not...

  5. ratfox

    After the Billion long scale and short scale…

    The ultra-short scale: 1 Million = 1 Billion = 1 Trillion = 1 Quadrillion…

  6. Khaptain Silver badge

    The figures are real - Mark told us

    C'mon guys, this is a company that is worth 100 Billion $.

    Now if you believe that you must also believe that their are 150 Billion faces being exploited.....

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: The figures are real - Mark told us

      Please grammar Nazis don't pick up on the their/there...........

      El Reg : Gentle reminder give us the "Edit" button..

      1. PaulR79

        Re: The figures are real - Mark told us

        I believe you mean "they're" :>

        1. wowfood

          Re: The figures are real - Mark told us

          I believe you mean they are.

          1. wowfood


            I meant there are

            *grammar nazi fail*

        2. Fibbles

          Nobody likes a grammar Nazi.

          Even fewer like incompetent grammar Nazis.

          1. Anomynous Coward

            Re: Nobody likes a grammar Nazi.

            Incompetent Grammar Nazi - I'd always wondered what IGN stood for.

            I reckon they're more fun than a lot of other Nazis.

      2. The Baron

        Re: The figures are real - Mark told us

        Of course, a proper GN would pick up on the fact that you should have said

        "$100 billion", "USD 100 billion", or "100 billion dollars"

        but not

        "100 billion $".

        No doubt your their/there plea was merely a ploy to distract lesser GNs from this deliberate error.

  7. stuartnz

    I smell conspiracy - the last time I made a comment on an error like the 150 billion in this article, my comment was deleted by the mods, so this time I was a good little boy, and submitted a correction through the appropriate channels. Now it seems I needn't have bothered. Why is everybody always picking on me?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I too submitted a correction through the appropriate channels. What a waste of time that was.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Why is everybody always picking on me?

      That's because everybody hates you dude!

      1. stuartnz

        Re: Why is everybody always picking on me?

        Thanks for responding in kind, unlike the apparently humour-deficient downvoter who assumed that I as genuinely miffed and responded, somewhat ironically, by picking on me. :D

  8. dotdavid
    Paris Hilton


    Did you guys get Paris' permission to use her face to promote my comments? ;-)

    1. stanimir

      Re: So...

      ...I thought she was public domain?

      1. Heironymous Coward
        Paris Hilton

        Re: So...

        Only some parts of her are...

  9. Graham Marsden

    I'm going to change my FB user pic...

    ... now should I use the one with my trousers around my ankles and bending over? Or perhaps the one holding the sign saying "Facebook Sucks"? Or maybe...

  10. Just_this_guy

    D'you know, I wondered about that number too. Glad to see it's not just me, but the other 12 billion Register readers too...

    1. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

      argh, thanks for that; it has been amended..

  11. JimmyPage Silver badge

    I really can't see this ever taking off.

    The chances that a practicing catholic FBer has their picture splashed across an advert for Trojan, or Mates is too high.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you go on Facebook... gonna catch AIDS.

  13. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Another game of percentages..

    The game that both Google and Facebook are playing is that of numbers.

    What *really* should happen is that they are made to pay per individual violation, because exposing the details of an individual doesn't have a lesser impact if it happens to more people. However, because that would finish the companies (and, presumably, the associated juicy campaign contributions and lobbying) the correct charges are turned into something that can be paid out of petty cash.

    The whole business model they are running is flat out ignoring the law, and they say "oops, sorry" when they're caught out - at which point the number trick follows. In other words, there is absolutely no incentive for these organisations to ever go even *close* to actual compliance, ever. Let's just screw over the populations' rights chasing the almighty buck.

    The brutal irony in this is that the executives of the organisations are very, very shy of the disclosure they demand of others themselves (government organisations display the same attitudes). I makes you wonder what they have to hide..

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll just stick to IRC.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I have Mark Suck-a-Terds face on my social networking site too...

    It's called a toilet roll and everyone gets to use it.

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