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Judge Rejects Facebook’s ‘Sponsored Stories’ Settlement (CNET)
U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg of San Francisco, Calif., has rejected Facebook’s settlement of a class-action suit regarding an ad feature that publicizes users’ “likes” of products and services to their Facebook friends but doesn’t pay the users for the endorsements or allow them to opt out. Under the proposed deal, Facebook would have given its users more control over how their “likes” were handled and would have allowed users under 18 to opt out of sponsored stories. Wired Seeborg was concerned that the deal, which provides a $10 million payout to attorneys suing Facebook and $10 million to charity in what is known as a cy pres award “was merely plucked from thin air.” In his Friday ruling, he ordered the parties to provide more information on how it reached that amount. Bloomberg Businessweek Seeborg also said that while it isn’t feasible to divide $10 million among as many as 70 million affected customers, it isn’t sufficient to justify giving that money only to advocacy groups. Lawyers for customers had argued the groups would be “watchdogs” over Facebook. Inside Facebook Facebook is once again the second-largest video site in the United States, according to comScore. The social network saw 53 million unique video viewers in July, about a third of Google’s audience but higher than the number of unique viewers on Yahoo and Vevo. Mashable Google, thanks largely to YouTube, still enjoys a comfortable lead in the race with nearly 157 million total unique viewers. Yahoo users, however, watched more videos — 625 million to Facebook’s 327 million. Facebook users watched an average of 21.7 minutes of video throughout July, while Yahoo users consumed 70.4 hours of video content. Read more