Ruh-oh, Meta’s getting Zucced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)! File that one under “sentences that would kill a Victorian child”.
The ACCC has announced it’s taking Meta (Facebook’s Daddy company) to court over scam crypto ads on Facebook. Another sentence that would kill a Victorian child faster than 30 seconds of a 100 gecs song.
According to the ACCC’s allegations, Meta “engaged in false, misleading or deceptive conduct by publishing scam advertisements featuring prominent Australian public figures”.
Those figures included Dick Smith, David Koch (yes, Kochie off Sunrise) and ex-NSW Premier Mike Baird. Quite a rogue assortment there.
It goes without saying that none of the people featured in the ads actually endorsed the schemes. Apparently each of the ads also linked to fake articles with fake quotes from the celebs who were featured.
The ACCC’s alleging that the ads promoted investing into money-making schemes and cryptocurrency. Never a good sign.
Plus, it’s arguing that Meta knew the scam ads were being shown on Facebook but didn’t take sufficient methods to stop them.
“The essence of our case is that Meta is responsible for these ads that it publishes on its platform,” said ACCC chair Rod Sims.
“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.
“Those visits to landing pages from ads generate substantial revenue for Facebook.”
One user lost $650,000 through a Facebook ad promoing an investment scam according to the ACCC. That’s such a whopping amount of money that a bit of my soul just shrivelled up.
Both Dick Smith and Mike Baird told the ABC that they supported the legal action. To be fair, I’d be pretty pissed if someone was using my face to shell scam crypto as well. Crypto! Of all things!
A spokesperson for Meta told The Guardian that it doesn’t want ads “seeking to scam people out of money or mislead people on Facebook”.
“They violate our policies and are not good for our community. We use technology to detect and block scam ads and work to get ahead of scammers’ attempts to evade our detection systems.
“We’ve cooperated with the ACCC’s investigation into this matter to date.”
The ACCC’s seeking injunctions, penalties, injunctions, declarations and other orders.