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Lawsuit Says Facebook Uses Kids to Be Unpaid Corporate Shills

August 16, 2011
Colson Hicks Eidson

Facebook is using the First Amendment to defend itself against a class action lawsuit by two parents in Illinois. In a story at riverfronttimes.com, the parents filed suit against the social network giant based on how Facebook uses its “like” feature.

The lawsuit points out that Facebook uses the “like” feature to monitor the likes and interests of minors. It then markets products based on those interests to others in the minor’s network of friends. Facebook contends that consumer opinion is a matter of public interest and protected by the First Amendment. It is asking the federal judge in Illinois to dismiss the lawsuit.

Apparently, when a Facebook user “likes” a product advertised on Facebook, they can type an endorsement of it. That endorsement, along with the user’s name and profile photo, circulates among their network of friends. The users, minors in this case, are unpaid commercial endorsers of the product or products. The plaintiff parents say that children lack the capacity to agree to be unpaid advertisers and marketers.

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Colson Hicks Eidson – Florida class action lawyers