A couple of months ago, Facebook finally settled a lawsuit over some ill-thought-out ads it ran, which relied on user activities. The company got sued over it and the lawsuit got class action status, so it affected all users that had been involved, with their knowledge or not.In the end, Facebook had to pay $20 million, €14.85 million all of which are meant for the users, unlike a previous settlement proposal in which lawyers got as much as all Facebook users in the US.
Facebook is now getting ready to pay that money and is notifying Facebook users that they are eligible to get $10, €7.43 in damages as part of the settlement.
Understandably, when first seeing the message, many users assumed it was a scam. It's not, it's the real deal. There is a caveat though. $20 million may seem like a lot of money, but it's not when you start carving it up.
Facebook has 150 million users in the US and it doesn't have $1.5 billion, €1.1 billion lined up to pay each and every one of the $10.
So, if too many people claim their money and it gets to the point where there's too little money to be distributed to each user that it costs more to do it than the money they're getting, all of it will go to a few non-profits instead. All of this seems like a problem from game theory 101.