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Facebook ‘Tricks’ Kids, Parents into Spending Money in Free Games

And parents also did not know their children could use their credit card without re-entering a password or some other form of verification, according to the Reveal

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Facebook, data,photos
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Facebook engaged in practices that “tricked” children and their parents into spending money in free-to-play games, the media has reported.

According to records that are part of a class-action lawsuit, and include internal Facebook memos, secret strategies and employee emails, the social media giant engaged in what was internally dubbed “friendly fraud” in order to maximise its revenues.

“And the company often denied attempts by parents to recover hundreds or even thousands of dollars until credit card companies ‘clawed back’ the money from Facebook,” the VentureBeat reported late on Saturday.

The story detailed the case of one 12-year-old boy who had spent nearly $1,000 in the game Ninja Saga. That case led to a lawsuit in 2012, the report added.

Facebook, Fake News
Facebook ‘tricked’ kids, parents to spend money on ‘free’ games: Report. VOA

The time span for the abuses covered 2010 to 2014, but the documents related to these cases were not released until now.

An internal Facebook survey of users found that many parents did not even realise that the social networking giant was storing their credit card information.

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And parents also did not know their children could use their credit card without re-entering a password or some other form of verification, according to the Reveal. (IANS)

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Facebook Loses its Place Among the World’s 10 Most Valuable Brands

Only 28 per cent of Facebook users believed the company is committed to privacy, down from a high of 79 per cent

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Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

Hit by privacy scandals and year-round investigations, Facebook has lost its place among the world’s 10 most valuable brands in global brand consultancy Interbrand’s annual ranking of best top 100 brands.

Facebook fell to the 14th spot. Two years back, the social networking giant was at the eighth spot in the list, billed as a “rapidly appreciating” brand.

Apple led the top 100 best brands’ list, followed by Google and Amazon. Microsoft was the fourth, Coca Cola fifth and Samsung came sixth on the list.

The seventh spot was grabbed by Toyota, Mercedes was the eighth, McDonald’s ninth and Disney was at the 10th spot.

Pitching for breaking up Facebook, US-based software giant Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has called the social networking platform “new cigarettes” which are making kids addictive. Benioff said that the company must be held accountable now.

Several US lawmakers like Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren have also been pitching to break up Facebook.

Fake, News, WhatsApp, Facebook, India
The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

Nearly 40 state attorneys general in the US have decided to join probe against Facebook’s anti-competitive business practices.

Facebook this year agreed to pay $5 billion as a settlement to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over privacy violations.

According to a survey by independent research firm Ponemon Institute in 2018, users’ confidence in Facebook plunged by 66 per cent after Cambridge Analytica data scandal involving 87 million users.

Also Read: Apple Users can Now Report Accidents, Traffic on Google Maps

Only 28 per cent of Facebook users believed the company is committed to privacy, down from a high of 79 per cent.

“We found that people care deeply about their privacy and when there is a mega data breach, as in the case of Facebook, people will express their concern. And some people will actually vote with their feet and leave,” Ponemon said in a statement. (IANS)