Facebook parent company Meta is attempting to revitalise its image with its recent rebranding. The ongoing attempt to rebrand is more than just a way of advertising its Metaverse project, but also a way of pushing away negative press after years of scrutiny.
However, a new name a good company does not make. Despite a shiny new logo, negative stories are still piling up against the social media company.
Controversial Meta ads make the company millions
Across its social media platforms — namely Facebook and Instagram — Meta pushes a variety of ads to its users. This is the company’s main way of making money, allowing advertisers to push products, content, political ideologies and more towards customers.
However, as reported by WIRED, Meta ads are allegedly filled with misinformation, propaganda, spam and scams. This can range anywhere from Holocaust denial to faux Bitcoin scams.
In the report, it claims that the company made millions from coordinated inauthentic behaviour. This means that the platform was still profiting from content that was at some point removed from its services.
Data acquired by the company shows that at least $30 million profit was taken by the company from CIB adverts. This is because the company does not return spent ad money if the content has been removed.
Out of all of the regions circulating CIB, Russia was by far the most active. Additionally, around two-thirds of the profit from these ads came from the same small number of advertising networks.
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Why is this a problem?
The fact that Facebook makes such a large amount of money from this type of advertising means that there’s an incentive for the company to be lax on the subject. Yes, this content gets removed eventually, but Facebook allows companies to run dangerous ads first.
With political propaganda and dangerous scams being advertised across its services, these advertisements are dangerous. Despite the fact that they will be deleted at some point in time, these ads are allowed through the filter to starts with.
Furthermore, these caught advertisements are just the tip of the iceberg. Facebook has long had an issue with factually incorrect and leading adverts, and for every ad that’s taken down there’s more that are allowed to roam free.