How you can use the Facebook settlement to send a message

By now, you’ve probably heard that Facebook has settled its case involving the sharing of its users’ data with Cambridge Analytica, whose clients included the 2016 presidential campaigns of both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Those campaigns allegedly used the harvested data from Facebook to build pyschographic profiles of those whom they could target with their social media advertising.

A lot of that information came to light during the “Russia Russia Russia hoax” that Trump likes to also call a “witch hunt” — a “witch hunt” that found a whole bunch of witches, just not Trump. Now, I never believed for a second that Trump colluded with Russia in the 2016 campaign — only because I don’t believe that Donald Trump could collude with a toaster to make toast. But that’s all polluted water under the crumbling bridge.

What important now is that Facebook is settling the data-sharing case against them for a whopping $725 million. Now, that sounds like a lot, but like every settlement you hear about on TV with asbestos, dirty water, baby powder, sitting too close to the TV … we all know all that stuff is really just a bunch of cash cows for attorneys while the masses who are actually impacted get pennies or a few bucks.

Let’s assume that the lawyers in this case are just super decent folks and only take a paltry 20 percent cut — considered very low by the kinds of people who wear sportscoats and suits when it’s 100 degrees outside — or about $125 million. That leaves $600 million for Facebook users. Not bad.

Of course, the only people eligible for the settlement are Facebook users who live in the U.S. and used Facebook anytime between the years of 2007 and 2022 — in other words, pretty much every American except your crazy doomsday prepper cousin.

Actually, Facebook reported having 243 million Facebook users in 2022. So let’s estimate on the low side that at least 250 million Americans used Facebook anytime between 2007 and 2022. If each of those folks wanted their cut of the settlement, that’s about $2.40 each. That’s enough to buy about 4 eggs these days.

(By the way, you can blame inflation if you want, but the U.S.’ top egg producer saw profits soar 700% in the past year. In other words, they’re greedy corporate money-grabbers taking advantage of your fears and misperceptions. But, by all means, blame Joe if you want.)

I suspect half of those 250 million won’t even bother to fill out the form, meaning the rest of us could get a cut of $4.80, so we could have eggs, grits and toast!

However, when word gets out that all of the hullabaloo about the HUGE Facebook settlement was just a money grab for lawyers and mere pocket change for Mark Zuckerberg, we’re all going to be a laughing stock — a bunch of $4.80 peons!

I say NO! Don’t be a $4.80 peon! No one will pay any attention. It’s going to take a big number for folks to take notice. Therefore, I suggest you don’t apply for the settlement. Tell your friends not to apply. Advise everyone you can. Imagine if one person got $600 million from the Facebook settlement! That would make a statement! Folks would notice.

Unfortunately, I have already filled out the form, so I’m already in. Actually, my wife is, too. But we are willing to shoulder the burden of managing a $600 million payout. And it’ll really stick it to Zuckerberg because my wife will give her $300 million share to fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos in about one week through Amazon purchases.



What do you think about this?