Disney World fans who love to post photos from their time in the parks on social media might just be entitled to a piece of the pie as the largest social media platform on earth is finalizing legal steps to settle a massive lawsuit from 2018.
It’s an age-old tradition: taking photos while on vacation. And when it comes to a vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort, there are so many experiences, locations, characters, dining venues, and iconic structures like Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle, EPCOT’s Spaceship Earth, the Hollywood Tower Hotel at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom that visiting without a camera or smartphone seems almost alien.
And thanks to the development of various social media networks like Facebook, fans of the Central Florida parks can share the excitement and magic of their Disney World getaways with friends and family, no matter where they live around the world. So long as they, too, have a Facebook account, they can be a part of those Disney memories when they log in and view the photos Guests have shared on the platform.
Facebook is, by far, the largest social media network on earth. Nearly 3 billion users are active on the platform every single month, meaning that roughly 37% of the world’s population can attest to having a Facebook account. In 2013, more than 350 million photos were shared on the platform every day, and by March 2023, that number had grown to more than 2.1 billion. Yes, 2.1 billion photos are posted on the Facebook platform every day of the year, meaning that in 2023 alone, more than 839,500,000,000 photos will be shared on Facebook.
And though fans mean well in posting their photos online, far more is being shared via the Facebook platform–and users have no idea.
In 2018, Facebook announced that the information of more than 87 million users was shared improperly with a group called Cambridge Analytica, a British political consultancy entity that was reportedly used by several political campaigns, including the Donald Trump campaign and the campaign for Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).
According to NBC, the massive breach landed Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in a Congressional hearing where he answered questions from members of Congress about the breach and how it happened. Zuckerberg apologized for the breach, saying he was sorry that the company “didn’t do more at the time.” He further assured users that they were “taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
In response to the breach, a class-action suit (Case No. 3:18-md-02843-VC) was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against Zuckerberg’s company, alleging privacy violations. In 2021, Facebook was rebranded as Meta, and the company settled the class-action suit in 2022, though the company admitted no wrongdoing.
“We pursued a settlement as it’s in the best interest of our community and shareholders,” explained a company spokesperson at the time of the settlement.
Last month, a judge tentatively approved the $725 million settlement, opening the doors for Facebook users to apply to receive a part of the payout. The final approval of the settlement isn’t expected until sometime in the fall, but users can begin applying for payments now.
Users who are eligible to apply to receive a part of the payout must meet a few criteria. They must be users in the United States, they must have had an active Facebook account between May 2007 and December 2022, and they must enter a claim to the payout by August 25, 2023. At the time of this publication, individual payout amounts have yet to be determined, as the amount will depend on the number of users who file a claim, as well as how long each individual user maintained a Facebook account.
Facebook users who wish to enter a claim can click this link and enter their name, address, and email address. They will also be prompted to confirm that they lived in the United States and were active users on Facebook between May 2007 and December 2022. All claims must be received by August 25, 2023.