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Meta is slapped with a lawsuit alleging scam-ad collusion in the Australian market

Meta finds itself in new legal trouble. (Source: Meta)
Meta finds itself in new legal trouble. (Source: Meta)
Meta (formerly known as Facebook) now faces legal action brought against it by Australia's Competition & Consumer Commission (or ACCC) in relation to a scandal in which the platform allowed misleading ads such as those that misappropriated the images of famous or prominent individuals, to be viewed by consumers in the country. The commission asserts that the ads directly led to the loss of money on the part of residents taken in by the "scams" in question.

Meta has been brought to court in Australia over the placement of false, misleading or otherwise malicious ads allowed to run on its platform in that market. However unfortunately, the appearance of such "scams" on social media is far from unusual. However, in this case, the plaintiff in this case asserts that the social media and (theoretically) metaverse giant "aided and abetted, or was knowingly concerned, in false or misleading conduct and representations by the advertisers" in question.

This case is also unusual in that it is being brought by the public body ACCC, whereas a different authority, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) would normally handle proceedings like this. However, the Competition & Consumer Commission notes that it has been granted the power to press the suit temporarily, possibly because its remit is more relevant on this occasion.

The ACCC is pursuing this case as it involves ads that used the images or reputations of certain prominent individuals in an attempt to get viewers to become involved in their "crypto" or "investment" schemes, which led to the loss of money on the part of those individuals - over AU$650,000 (~US$482000) in one case, according to the ACCC.

Accordingly, the chairman of Fortescue Metals Group Andrew Forrest, whose image was used in some examples of these ads, has also now filed a criminal case against Meta. A representative of the company has said that it is "reviewing the proceedings" at present, but declined to offer further comment on the situation.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 03 > Meta is slapped with a lawsuit alleging scam-ad collusion in the Australian market
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2022-03-20 (Update: 2022-03-20)