January 9th, 2014

Facebook to Shut Down Ad Program

By Elizabeth Dwoskin
The Wall Street Journal

Facebook in early spring will shut down a controversial ad feature that got the company in legal trouble over privacy, the social network said Thursday. In a message posted in the company’s forum for developers, the social network said that it would sunset the ad program, known as Sponsored Stories, on April 9.

For users who don’t want their names or pictures used in ads at all, the change will appear largely cosmetic. Sponsored Stories, which the company launched in 2011, created a social endorsement for ads. If a Facebook user liked a company’s product or checked into a restaurant, that action along with the person’s profile picture could appear as an advertisement in their friends’ Facebook news feeds. The feature rankled privacy advocates, who brought a class-action lawsuit against the company. The lawsuit argued that Facebook violated the privacy rights of minors by publishing their “likes” and profile pictures in advertisements without their consent.

Read more: http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/01/09/facebook-sets-expiration-date-for-controversial-ad-feature/

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