Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), the country’s competition regulator, has filed a lawsuit against Facebook’s [FB:US] parent company Meta Platforms for engaging in false or misleading cryptocurrency advertising in Australia, as reported by Nikkei Asia on March 18. Meta was accused of permitting advertisements with well-known Australians promoting deceptive cryptocurrency investments or money-making schemes. According to the ACCC, Meta was aware of the false advertisements but did not take appropriate actions to resolve the problem.
With the powerful algorithm of social media, misinformation has propagated at a speed and scale never seen before. A Facebook representative stated in 2020 that the social media company is working to improve its regulatory structure. Facebook already has various automatic detection methods in place to combat false advertisements, such as mechanisms that delete product information once it finds fake links. Similarly, China has also been fighting against fake advertisements on social media platforms. In 2017, Shanghai’s market watchdog investigated and dealt with 4,384 internet advertising cases fining RMB90.29m (USD14.18m) in total, representing a 146% YoY increase in case count. Furthermore, China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce announced in February 2018 the start of a campaign to eliminate deceptive advertisements on the internet, primarily focused on those by social media accounts.