- Did Pete Buttigieg seriously just rip-off a famous Obama speech? 1 Year Ago
- The most dangerous TikTok challenges we’ve seen—so far 1 Year Ago
- PewDiePie wants Bernie Sanders to host meme review Today 1:44 PM
- Hilary Duff records confrontation with ‘creep’ taking photos of kids Today 1:08 PM
- BTS may have used Twitch streamer’s voice in song without permission Today 12:15 PM
- Gigi Hadid absolutely obliterates Jake Paul over Zayn Malik diss Today 10:26 AM
- People really want Chris Matthews fired after he compared Sanders’ Nevada win to Nazi invasion of France Today 9:35 AM
- Bernie Sanders wins Nevada Caucuses Saturday 6:54 PM
- MSNBC is out of its mind over Sanders leading Nevada Saturday 5:20 PM
- Kim Kardashian dragged for using makeup to darken her hands Saturday 4:13 PM
- TikTok users show how they turned their vehicles into incredible tiny homes Saturday 3:44 PM
- Woman iconically pranks man who sent her an unsolicited d*ck pic Saturday 2:25 PM
- ‘Terrifying’ deepfake puts Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk in ‘Star Trek’ Saturday 1:06 PM
- A 36-year-old called the cops after being booted from parents’ phone plan Saturday 12:16 PM
- People think novelist Dean Koontz predicted the coronavirus in 1981 thriller Saturday 10:22 AM
Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) are asking Facebook for answers following a report that showed the social media giant allowed children to spend their parents’ money on games.
The report highlighted more than 100 documents that showed Facebook knew of the problem. The games, according to the report, included Angry Birds, PetVille, Happy Aquarium, Wild Ones, and Ninja Saga.
The company reportedly called the children spending money on the games “friendly fraud,” according to Reveal. One 12-year-old spent nearly $1,000 on one of the games not realizing his mother’s credit card was being charged.
“There was no indication he was spending money,” the mother said, according the news outlet. “So, 20 minutes later, I rechecked my credit card statement online. And sure enough, there was another $19.99 charge from Facebook.”
The documents highlighted by Reveal were ordered to be unsealed by a judge. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment by the Daily Dot.
“These findings are alarming and raise serious concerns about whether your company and its employees knowingly harmed families,” the senator’s letter reads.
“These findings point to a problematic culture of putting profits ahead of your users’ financial well being and raise serious concerns regarding the company’s willingness to engage responsibly in its interactions with children.”
Markey and Blumenthal asked the social media giant to respond to a number of questions including, among others:
- When Facebook became aware children were unknowingly spending their parents’ money.
- What policies the company has put in place to stop it happening in the future.
- If Facebook would commit to refunding money that was spent.
- If the Federal Trade Commission has contacted them about the issue.
They requested the company to respond by Feb. 19.
You can read all of Markey and Blumenthal’s letter here.
Update 1:15pm CT, Jan. 29: Facebook told the Daily Dot on Tuesday it had received the letter from the senators, adding that it had voluntarily unsealed documents about a 2012 case regarding its refund policies for in-app purchases similar to the ones highlighted by Reveal.
“Facebook works with parents and experts to offer tools for families navigating Facebook and the web,” a company spokesperson said. “As part of that work, we routinely examine our own practices, and in 2016 agreed to update our terms and provide dedicated resources for refund requests related to purchases made by minors on Facebook.”
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).