Facebook Documents to Show how it Preyed on Kids

Reveal News reports that a judge ruled late Monday that soon-to-be-released Facebook documents will show how the company “inappropriately profited from business transactions with children.”

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In-App Purchases

It sounds like some Facebook employees were worried the company was misleading kids who spent their parents’ money on in-app purchases in games. The documents are part of a class-action lawsuit from 2012 against the company.

Lots of One Dollar Bills!

The lead plaintiff in the case was a kid—referred to as I.B.—who used his mom’s credit card to pay US$20 in a Facebook game. I.B. wasn’t aware that Facebook stored the credit card information. As he kept playing the game Facebook kept charging the card, up to several hundred dollars in a few weeks.

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.

The mom asked Facebook to refund the money, because the game misled I.B. into thinking that it was just virtual currency, not real money. But Facebook refused to refund her, which led to the lawsuit.

According to the judge’s order Facebook has 10 days to make the documents public.

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