STRONG POINTS



  • Facebook's internal memos and other recordings were unsealed on Thursday night.
  • They showed that Facebook allowed children to accumulate huge gambling bills.
  • Facebook is not the only company to benefit children.


Facebook has allowed children to accumulate huge bills for digital games, while the company has rejected recommendations to deal with what it has described as "friendly fraud," according to recently released court documents.

Facebook's internal memos and other recordings were unsealed on Thursday night to comply with a judge's order in a 2016 federal court case.

The lawsuit, filed in San Jose, California, alleged allegations that Facebook deliberately betrayed teenagers by allowing them to spend hundreds of dollars to purchase additional features on games such as Angry Birds and Barn Buddy without consent of their parents.

The documents show that Facebook is planning to take steps to reduce the risk that children will accumulate fees on parents' credit cards without their knowledge. But society has not adopted them for fear of damaging income growth, which helps to increase the price of its shares - and the compensation of its employees.

The internal debate on how to deal with the recurring problem of considerable spending by children behind the backs of their parents ran from 2010 to 2014, during which time Facebook made its debut on the stock market in 2012. After being listed at $ 38 per share, Facebook's stock fell by 50 percent, intensifying pressure on CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his management team to generate more revenue.

However, none of the unsealed documents directly links Facebook's tolerance to "friendly fraud" to concerns about its falling stock price in parts of 2012 and 2013.

A Facebook statement did not address his rejection of the recommendations. Instead, he stated that the company had offered repayments and changed its practices.

"We regularly review our own practices and, in 2016, we agreed to update our terms and provide dedicated resources for refund claims related to purchases made by minors on Facebook," announced Menlo Park on Friday. California, in a statement.

Facebook is not the only leading technology company to have taken advantage of kids' games that do not always understand how much money their parents spend when they play games in apps or websites.

Apple has agreed to issue $ 32.5 million (about 23,072 million rupees) refunds to allow children to make integrated purchases without parental enforcement in a 2014 settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The same year, Google settled a similar case for $ 19 million with the same agency. In 2017, Amazon resolved another case involving potential reimbursements of up to $ 70 million for unauthorized spending by children in games.

But none of these companies have had their dirty laundry like Facebook does. She thinks she closed down a few years ago. The unflattering documents emerge after the Center for Investigation Report called for their release and US District Judge Beth Freeman granted it.

To make matters worse for Facebook, the documents come at a time when it is trying to repair the damage done to its reputation over the last 10 months by the scandal of data mining company Cambridge Analytica and other setbacks.

Facebook has published the documents of "friendly fraud" just as the Wall Street Journal published an editorial of Zuckerberg in which he defended the integrity and the commercial principles of the company.

However, some of the undisclosed information in the case has painted the image of a predatory society.

In a 2013 discussion between two company employees, a 15-year-old Facebook user who had spent about $ 6,500 worth of games is described as a "whale" - a term used by casinos to name those who earn a lot money. . The company decided to refuse a claim from the parents of the teenager.

The documents also revealed that some Facebook employees had offered to require minors and people over 90 to provide the first six digits of credit card accounts before allowing the purchase to reduce unauthorized expenses. . But Facebook's management has decided not to require this additional information, as this would also discourage users out of these age groups from spending as well.

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