Facebook Friend Finder class action lawsuit dismissed

Facebook Friend Finder class action lawsuit dismissed

Summary: A class action lawsuit against how Facebook promoted its Friend Finder feature has been dismissed. This latest decision is final: Facebook has been found not guilty.


A California federal judge has dismissed a class action lawsuit filed against Facebook over its Friend Finder feature. Facebook user Robyn Cohen and others alleged that Facebook misappropriated users' names and profile pictures, and that the company thus owed them money.

The case was actually first dismissed on June 28, 2011. The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, however, which was dismissed on July 27, 2011, according to paidContent.

Facebook's Friend Finder is typically advertised with a headline along the lines of "Emil - try the automatic Friend Finder" followed by a description like "Friend1, Friend2, and Friend3 found many of their friends using the automatic Friend Finder. Give it a try =>." The lawsuit argued that Facebook was using the names and profile pictures of Friend1, Friend2, and Friend3 without permission.

The feature suggests new Facebook friends to you based on the e-mail contacts you upload to the website. If you use it, your name and profile picture could then in turn be used to promote the service to your friends.

The plaintiffs argued that the use of their name and profile pictures to promote Friend Finder amounted to an unauthorized endorsement. The judge disagreed, saying that the Friend Finder ads did not cause any economic loss to Facebook users, noting that their pictures were only displayed to their existing Facebook friends.

"We appreciate the Court's consideration, and we are pleased that all claims were dismissed with prejudice," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. For more details, check out the six-page court document embedded above.

See also:

Topic: Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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  • RE: Facebook Friend Finder class action lawsuit dismissed

    Good!! Another pointless lawsuit that should have never been made.

    I bet this person is complaining about privacy but is one of the many privacy complainers that signs up for every app that shows their top friends in a stupid photo collage or posts information in public view.
    • What's next?

      "I signed up and uploaded a picture on your dating site because I'm looking for a relationship - how DARE you use my picture on the splash screen!"
      William Farrell
      • RE: Facebook Friend Finder class action lawsuit dismissed

        @William Farrell

        Actually that would be different because it would be publicly viewable. This was only showing a users profile picture to people they allowed in as friends. I cannot tell you how many people bitch and complain about Facebook's disregard for privacy only to find out the biggest complainers are the ones notorious for signing up for apps that clearly say they want full control of their profile all because they think it is fun to take some stupid survey or have some app steal the profile pictures of their friends to make some stupid college that claims it is a list of their top friends.
      • Still, it would be publicly viewable photo anyhow

        and is that not the reason humans join a dating site, to be noticed?

        Still, I do agree with your assesment of many Facebook users. One should not complain about privacy while wanting to put there personal information out there for many to see on a site designed to share information.

        It is not logical.
        Tim Cook
  • rubbish...

    .. both the lawsuit and the way Facebook uses/promotes the FriendFinder. Of those friends with their pics showing up, almost all of them have said "no. they were not using the friend finder app" even though Facebook says they were. If anything Facebook is being less than truthful in its use.
    nw trout
  • RE: Facebook Friend Finder class action lawsuit dismissed

    I wouldnt want facebook to use my picture to promote their service, unless they pay me $$$.

    And I know what they mean about friend finder. Its a very fine line what BS facebook pulls off.