Facebook Credits Lawsuit May Have Merits
A mother is suing Facebook in a class-action lawsuit on behalf of parents of children who have made credit card charges without their knowledge. On Facebook, when a 13-year old signs up and agrees to the terms and conditions of the site, a phrase says they should consult a parent or guardian before buying Facebook Credits. Facebook is relying upon that phrase to shield itself from parents who say their children are making purchases without their consent.
In the terms and services of Facebook, it says, “If you are under the age of 18, you may make payments only with the involvement of a parent or guardian. You should review these Payment terms with a parent or guardian to make sure that you both understand them.” Unjustifiably, Facebook is placing the burden on minor children to make decisions regarding complex financial transactions.
The good news is, that in most if not all states, the rule of law is that children are given a special power to void their contracts at their option. In the effort to avoid commercial hustlers, who would not hesitate to extract money from a child, some contracts are void as they are detrimental to the child. Most other contracts that are not for necessities of life are voidable by the child unless the child takes steps to repudiate the contract.
This leaves Facebook with one legal defense and that is Facebook is a necessity of life. And with 100's of millions of Facebook users nationwide, who knows that a judge or jury will decide on that issue.