An Australian billionaire has launched a criminal case against Facebook, claiming the company failed to prevent fraudulent ads using his likeness.
Andrew Forrest argues that Facebook violated Australian anti-money laundering laws by spreading cryptocurrency scams. He said it was the first time Facebook had faced a global criminal case.
Facebook owner Meta did not comment on Dr. Forrest’s case, but said he was “committed to keeping those people scammers off our platform. Dr. Forrest, chairman of miner Fortescue Metals, alleged that Facebook had been “criminally reckless” in not doing more to stop the ads, which first appeared in early 2019.
Scams use his image, and that of other celebrities, to promote bogus investments that promise riches. Although Facebook prohibits these types of ads, many continue to appear on the platform.
Dr Forrest said he had also written an open letter to Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg in November 2019, urging him to take further action. Daily Facebook users drop for the first time in history
I am concerned that innocent Australians are being scammed through clickbait advertising on social media,” the mining magnate said in a statement on Thursday. I’m performing here for Australians, but this is happening all over the world. The case will be heard in the Western Australian Magistrates Court from March 28. If successful, Facebook could face fines or be forced to change its advertising.
Dr. Forrest also filed a civil lawsuit in the US state of California, where Facebook is based. In that lawsuit, he alleges that Facebook “knowingly profits from this cycle of illegal ads,” The Australian newspaper reported.
A victim in Australia had lost $670,000 (£495,000; A$940,000) due to a bogus endorsement with Dr. Forrest, the newspaper said, citing court documents.
In a statement to the media, the social media company said the fraudulent ads violated its policies. We take a multifaceted approach to stopping these ads, working not only to detect and reject the ads themselves, but also to block advertisers from our services and, in some cases, take legal action to enforce our policies,” he said. a Meta representative.