Australia sues Facebook for crypto ads faking celebrity endorsements

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The world of cryptocurrency is a wild west of plagiarism, scams and fraud, and someone always pays the price. In this case, Facebook is paying the price after multiple crypto scams used the social media platform for hosting a number of misleading adverts.

Australia sues Facebook

Reported by the BBC, the country of Australia has launched a legal battle against Facebook’s parent company, Meta. Far from the first time the social media company has been sued, this time the litigating focuses on deceptive advertising.

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) revealed that Facebook is home to a multitude of misleading advertisements. ACCC explained that users are plagued with deceptive adverts of celebrities endorsing investment in crypto tokens. However, those adverts are all fake.

Adverts purposefully targeted older Facebook users, manipulating the likenesses of older Australian celebrities to push crypto coins. Millionaire entrepreneur Dick Smith, TV host David Koch and more were used in the adverts.

The lawsuit claims that Facebook was actively publishing the adverts while being aware of their misleading nature. Additionally, there may be evidence to suggest that Facebook was ignoring the situation instead of fixing it.

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Facebook was aware?

The fake cryptocurrency ads are not a new arrival to Facebook. In fact, they've been plaguing the social media platform since last year. However, even as the issue gets more widespread, nothing has been done about them.

Additionally, Facebook isn't unaware of these misleading adverts. Just last month, Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest launched his own lawsuit against Meta for crypto ads using his likeness on Facebook. Forrest claimed that Facebook was aware of the adverts and “knowingly profits from this cycle of illegal ads".

Through the crypto ads, victims have lost hundreds of thousands of Australian dollars after being tricked. The biggest loser lost a massive A$940,000 — the equivalent of $670,000 — as a victim in one scam.

Meta has admitted that these advertisements are against the company’s terms of service. The company claimed they: “work not just to detect and reject the ads themselves but also block advertisers from our services”. Nevertheless, the adverts still keep coming.