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Lawsuit Reveals Facebook’s Internal Documents About How It Made Money Off Children

Nathan Halverson, reporting for Reveal:

“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 password.

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.

Thursday, 17 January 2019