Facebook manipulating kids for cash

fbkidsIt feels like you could make a list of almost every terrible thing that can be done on the internet, and at some point we will discover the Facebook did it, knew they were doing it, but didn’t care much. Do they have an office in Lagos? Because if so I’m pretty sure we now know where all the Nigerian princes who need money are writing from.

This week, the story is extracting money from children.

In 2012, Facebook settled a class-action suit with parents who claimed that their kids were being tricked into spending real money on game items, thinking they were spending virtual in-game currency; the parents said that Facebook had structured its system to allow kids to use their parents’ credit cards without the parents’ intervention, unlike competitors like Google and Apple, who required password re-entries when a card was re-charged for in-game purchases.

Which sounds like something that could happen through bad design of an application (a hallmark of Facebook!)… until you get a look at the unsealed court documents, and the discussions within the company about it all.

Facebook is just a giant, amoral trash fire of a company. Do you really want to be part of it and help pay its bills?

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