A 10-year-old discovered a bug on Instagram that could have ruined the entire platform, and his reward was a paltry $10,000 from Facebook.
We know what you're thinking: $10,000 is a lot of money! Indeed it is. But Instagram is said to be worth many billions of dollars (about $56 billion, according to our math using current revenue projections). All estimates aside, Facebook acquired it for $1 billion in 2012 -- the service is worth a lot of money.
The Finnish 10-year-old, identified only as Jani in the VentureBeat report about his discovery, is said to have found a glitch on Instagram that allowed him to delete any comment left on the social platform. Rather than harnessing his newfound superpower to rule Insta with an iron fist, he alerted Facebook officials, who patched up the glitch.
VentureBeat said Facebook confirmed the story -- originally published in a Finnish newspaper -- but a representative for the social network did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Huffington Post.
We'd like to assert that Jani is owed more money. His reward would only pay for a bit less than 30 percent of one year of private college education in the United States. And if he had posted the exploit to, say, Reddit rather than going to Facebook, the damage to innocents who generate revenue from amateur photos of brunch and puppies may have been unspeakable -- brand #engagement could have plummeted!
In fairness, the reward was more than the $4,457.14 average paid to security researchers who reported bugs to Facebook last year. But come on: Facebook and Instagram are among the most widely used, important online services in the entire world. We respect Jani for keeping them safe for all, but maybe he could have gotten a little more out of the exchange -- maybe $1 per monthly user who could have been affected by the glitch? For a total of $400 million or so?
Seems fair to us.