Australian watchdog is taking Meta to court over scam advertising

Australia’s consumer watchdog, the ACCC is slapping Facebook parent company, Meta, to court, for allowing scam advertisements.

From Andrew Garfield to the Winklevoss twins, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has faced plenty of lawsuits since starting Facebook in 2004. But the latest court date has come from Australia’s consumer watchdog, the ACCC.

The lawsuit has been filed as a result of scam advertisements that have been allowed to run on Facebook, that illegally use the faces of celebrities to sell an investment opportunity that they have never endorsed.

Rod Sims ACCC
Credit: ABC

ACCC chair Rod Sims says that their case will argue that “Meta is responsible for these ads that it publishes on its platform”.

“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,” he explained.

When Facebook users clicked on the scam advertisements, they would be directed to a website with false articles featuring endorsements from Australian celebrities like David Koch and Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest.

According to the ACCC, they would then be asked to sign up for a money-making scheme, and those who did were then “contacted by scammers who used high-pressure tactics, such as repeated phone calls, to convince users to despite funds into the fake schemes”.

“In one shocking instance, we are aware of a consumer who lost more than $650,000 due to one of these scams being falsely advertised as an investment opportunity on Facebook. This is disgraceful,” Sims continued.

But surely by now everyone knows better than to trust anything Kochie says anyway.