Australia

Facebook caught ‘misleading’ Aussies


Meta has been caught out permitting scammers to trick Australian prospects, however they could possibly be dealing with main penalties.

Meta may doubtlessly be dealing with a authorized probe for failing to cease scammers on its platform from tricking and taking cash off prospects.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) revealed final month it was investigating the social media large, previously referred to as Facebook.

That investigation is now “very advanced” and the watchdog boss says the proliferation of scammers on Facebook and Instagram would represent deceptive of consumers, which is a breach of shopper legislation.

News.com.au has beforehand reported on almost a dozen Facebook and Instagram scams, primarily these focusing on small enterprise homeowners in Australia who had their enterprise account hijacked.

The rip-off victims have been unable to regain management of their accounts till media intervention, permitting the cyber felony to trick their followers into gifting away cash in fraudulent schemes principally round cryptocurrency, for months in some instances.

Meta is specifically coming beneath scrutiny for its coverage round ads, with the social platform allegedly permitting scammers to pay for advertisements impersonating others.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims stated to information.com.au in a press release: “The ACCC is investigating Meta Platforms, Inc. (formerly Facebook Inc.) for its role in publishing advertisements featuring Australian public figures which give the misleading appearance that those public figures have used or endorsed schemes that were in fact scams.”

Meta advised information.com.au it rejected the allegations.

The ACCC’s investigation got here scorching on the heels of Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest’s claims Meta ought to be criminally charged for failing to take down faux ads utilizing his picture.

The West Australian businessman alleged that the social media firm had breached Australia’s anti-money laundering legal guidelines by failing to take away posts of scammers utilizing his face to advertise faux cryptocurrency funding alternatives spanning all the way in which again to March 2019.

In February 2022, Mr Forrest lodged proceedings within the Western Australia Magistrates Court.

Mr Sims stated it did seem that Facebook had probably breached some legal guidelines however didn’t particularly point out Mr Forrest’s case.

“We have a very advanced investigation into whether a large digital platform should have taken down scams when they knew they were scams,” Mr Sims told the ABC.

“I think if you know something’s a scam and yet you’ve got this platform, I think there is an issue there in terms of whether you’re misleading the users of your platform.

“Ultimately, that‘s the essence of consumer law, that you shouldn’t mislead consumers.”

Meta responds

A Meta spokesperson rejected the allegations in a press release to information.com.au.

“We don’t want scams on our platforms – they violate our policies and are not good for our community,” they stated.

“We use technology to detect and remove scam accounts, content and ads and work to get ahead of scammers’ attempts to evade our detection systems.

“While no enforcement is perfect, we continue to investigate new technologies and methods of stopping these scams, including taking legal action to stop the people behind them.

“We strongly encourage users to report suspected scams to us so we can investigate and take the appropriate action.”

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