Australia Sues Meta Over Scam Crypto Ads

Daniel Attoe
Daniel Attoe

Updated · Mar 18, 2022

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The regulator is seeking unspecified penalties and costs from Facebook. 

False, Misleading Conduct

An Australian watchdog has sued Facebook owner Meta, accusing the company of allowing scam ads to target users. According to the regulator, the social media giant did not stop scammers from promoting fake ads that celebrities endorsed. 

According to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) says that the get-rich-quick schemes tricked users. Apparently, the people thought they had backing from prominent Australians.

The schemes were based on cryptocurrency,

The ACCC’s lawsuit alleges that Meta “engaged in false, misleading or deceptive conduct” by publishing the ads. It says that the company aided and abetted the actions of the advertisers.

“The essence of our case is that Meta is responsible for these ads that it publishes on its platform,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said. 

“It is a key part of Meta’s business to enable advertisers to target users who are most likely to click on the link in an ad to visit the ad’s landing page, using Facebook algorithms. Those visits to landing pages from ads generate substantial revenue for Facebook.”

Sims added that Facebook did not prevent or take down the ads after the celebrities reported them. Affected ones included TV host David Koch, businessman Dick Smith, and former politician and investment banker Mike Baird.

“Scam Ads Violated Our Policy”

In a rebuttal, Meta said that the ads in question violated its policy and that it would defend itself in court.

“We don’t want ads seeking to scam people out of money or mislead people on Facebook – they violate our policies and are not good for our community. We use technology to detect and block scam ads and work to get ahead of scammers’ attempts to evade our detection systems.”

Sources.

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Daniel Attoe

Daniel Attoe

Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.

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