Fake ads allegations might bring Meta in front of the judge, in Australia. The competition watchdog in the country filed a lawsuit against the company. Thus, they say that the company did not prevent scammers from promoting fake ads featuring celebrities.
Fake ads for money making schemes
Most of the indictable ads endorsed investment in cryptocurrency or money-making schemes. So, the authorities say that Facebook misled its users that Australian celebrities promoted them. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) mentioned that the company was “knowingly concerned” in these.
“Meta is responsible for the ads,” ACCC Chari Rod Sims said. He added that “It is alleged that Meta was aware… scam ads were being displayed on Facebook.” Still, he mentioned that the company “did not take sufficient steps to address the issue.”
Meta excuses itself
As a response, Meta mentioned that ads that scammed people or misled them violated its policies. Also, it added that its technology detects and blocks these posts. Moreover, it explained that it “cooperated with the ACCC’s investigation.”
Now, the company added that it will review the recent filing by the ACCC. Also, it intends to defend the proceedings.
The ACCC explained that the ads used images of celebrities, such as politicians, business leaders and TV hosts. They also included links to fake media articles.
Any user who signed up was contacted afterwards by scammers. The regulator explained that those tried to convince users deposit funds into fake schemes. “We are aware of a consumer who lost more that A$650,00 due to one of these scams.”
Also, some of the celebrities launched criminal proceedings against Facebook. Thus, Andrew Forest, sued the company as scam ads used his image to promote cryptocurrency schemes.
Financial fraud complaints
Usually, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission handles financial fraud complaints. But now, it gave temporary powers to ACCC, seeking for financial penalties.
The allegations come just after Facebook announced a new programme. So, according to the company, it should help political candidates and influencers to stop spread of potential misinformation.