“In nearly all cases the parents knew their child was playing
Angry Birds, but didn’t think the child would be allowed to buy
anything without their password or authorization first,” according
to an internal Facebook memo. The memo noted that on other
platforms, such as Apple’s iPhone, people were required to
reauthorize additional purchases, such as by re-entering a
A Facebook employee noted that children were likely to be confused
by the in-game purchases because it “doesn’t necessarily look like
real money to a minor.” Yet the company continued to deny refunds
to children, profiting from their confusion.
In one of the unsealed documents, two Facebook employees deny a
refund request from a child whom they refer to as a “whale” — a
term coined by the casino industry to describe profligate
spenders. The child had entered a credit card number to play a
game, and in about two weeks racked up thousands of dollars in
charges, according to an excerpt of messages between two employees
at the social media giant.
The transcript Reveal obtained is jaw-dropping. A 15-year-old ran up $6,500 in in-game charges and Facebook refused the request for a refund.
Facebook is a criminal enterprise.