Australia plans to sue Facebook owner over scam ads for cryptocurrency

Facebook owner Meta, photo by Rich Picks Daily.

Australian officials are suing Facebook’s owner, Meta Platforms, over scam ads for cryptocurrency schemes. The ads feature well-known Australians, including a politician and a businessman, who they claim endorse the schemes. In reality, the figures never endorsed the schemes, or approved the ads. Australia’s consumer protection commission said the ads also contained links to fake articles with quotes claiming to be by the public figures.

One consumer allegedly lost over US$480,000 from a false ad for an investment opportunity. The commission’s chair said the scam ads not only steal consumers’ money, but damage the public figures’ reputations.

The commission announced today it has started Federal Court proceedings against Meta for “false, misleading, or deceptive content”. The chair said Meta has not done enough to counter the scam ads.

“…even after those public figures reported to Meta that their name and image were being featured in celebrity endorsement cryptocurrency scam ads”.

Meta hit back, arguing that any ads that scammed people out of money or misled users violated its policies, and the company uses technology to detect and block such posts. A Meta spokesperson said Meta will review the commission’s accusations.

Last month, the chairman of an Australian metals group also launched criminal proceedings against Facebook, including ones using his image to promote cryptocurrency schemes. This week, Facebook announced a program to help train Australian political candidates and influencers on cyber security.

SOURCE: AFP | Reuters

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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