The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC, for its acronym in English) has initiated legal proceedings against Meta alleging that it allowed the dissemination on Facebook of false and misleading behavior through fraudulent advertisements in which they appeared. famous characters from this country.
This body has accused the company founded by Mark Zuckerberg, which hosts, in addition to Facebook, other social networks such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger, of violating the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and the Investment Commission Law and Australian Securities (ASIC Law).
As indicated by the ACCC in a statement, Meta “aided, abetted, or was knowingly involved” in misleading representations by advertisers promoting investment in cryptocurrencies.
By allowing its publication on Facebook, the technology company would have contributed to the victims believed that these campaigns were legitimized by Australian public figures, such as the television presenter David Koch or the businessman Dick Smith, as well as the former Prime Minister of New South Wales, Mike Baird.
This body has ensured that these ads contained links that took Facebook users to false articles supposedly published by real media in which quotes attributed to these characters appeared.
In them, the famous supported the investments in cryptocurrencies or other supposedly legitimate money-making methods, through which they would have obtained large rewards.
Thanks to the use of the image of these people, the victims proceeded to register on these links and the scammers pressured them, through phone calls, to deposit money in these fake funds.
“The essence of this is that Meta is responsible for these ads because they are posted on its platform,” ACC President Rod Sims said in this writing.
From the Australian body they allege that Meta I was aware of the existence of these ads and that it “did not take sufficient steps to address the problem”, as these ads have remained despite complaints from the celebrities involved.
“Meta should have been doing more to detect and then remove false or misleading ads on Facebook to prevent consumers from falling victim to ruthless fraudsters,” added Sims.
The ACC believes that in addition to the untold losses to consumers from the scams, these ads also damage the reputations of public figures falsely associated with the false ads.
Likewise, Sims has given the example of a case of a user scammed by one of these advertisers present in the deceived social network, who lost more than 650,000 dollars because “in one of these scams it was falsely advertised as an investment opportunity in Facebook itself “.
The ACC has reported that it is seeking declarations, precautionary measures and sanctions to hold Facebook accountable with the people involved and has encouraged people who have been victims to report these scams on Scamwatch, which belongs to the organization.
Lastly, he has detailed background related to Meta and its revenue from the sale of ads shown to users on both Facebook and Instagram.
Thus, he has said that in 2021 the global advertising revenue of Meta Platform was 115,000 million dollars, while consumers reported losses of 99 million dollars through Scamwatch due to investment scams in cryptocurrencies.
ALSO IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
It should be remembered that in 2018 the United Kingdom filed a similar complaint against Meta, then Facebook, when the founder of MoneySavingExpert.com Martin Lewis, sued the company for repeatedly using his image in false advertisements distributed through the social network.
The litigation ended with a deal in 2019when Facebook agreed to spend more resources to combat the use of its advertising platform by cybercriminals who use celebrities to promote their scams.
One of these measures was the introduction of a button to report fraudulent advertisements and, subsequently, the company made it available to users in Australia, the Netherlands and New Zealand. a form to report these scams.
The United Kingdom, for its part, is currently reviewing a draft ‘online’ security law, with which it is intended that the executive directors of technology companies have greater criminal liability if circumstances such as these occur.
Is about a bill that was published in May 2021 and that, during these months, has been subjected to a series of checks to penalize media outlets and platforms that do not cooperate with the principles of privacy and user protection.