Teens can drive at 16, but should they have the freedom to “like” Justin Beiber’s fan page? A lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles County Court alleges that Facebook unfairly takes advantage of teens because with that preferential button-push, they endorse a product (or person, or thing, or whatever), broadcasting their “like” to a wide audience. Which is sort of the point.
However, California law dictates that minors cannot endorse products without a parent or guardian’s consent. “We believe it is a clear case of exploitation of children for the sake of profits,” said attorney John Torjesen of John C. Torjesen & Associates, a party to the suit, according to Fast Company. The lawyers say that two L.A. teens unknowingly broadcast endorsements via Facebook; they are seeking cash damages.
If Facebook loses the case, it could mean parents would have to approve their teens’ “likes,” which, frankly, would just never work. (We really hope the two youngsters who stirred up this lawsuit don’t get stuffed in lockers and have their lunch money stolen.)
Though Facebook would probably like to do just that. “We believe this suit is completely without merit and we will fight it vigorously,” said company spokesman Andrew Noyes. He also noted that profiles of users who are under 18 do not appear on public search engines.