Australia sues Meta over scam crypto ads on Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg in front of the Facebook logo
Mark Zuckerberg in front of the Facebook logo (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Meta is being sued by Australia.
  • The country's media watchdog claims it allowed scam adverts relating to crypto on its Facebook platform.
  • The ACCC alleges that adverts were likely to mislead people and that Meta is responsible.

Meta is being sued by Australia over claims it let advertisers post scam crypto ads to its Facebook platform, misleading users.

The ACCC announced Friday that it had started court proceedings against Facebook owner Meta "alleging that they engaged in false, misleading or deceptive conduct by publishing scam advertisements featuring prominent Australian public figures."

The body also says that Meta "aided and abetted or was knowingly concerned in false or misleading conduct and representations by the advertisers."

The suit pertains to ads "which promoted investment in cryptocurrency or money-making schemes" and were likely to mislead users. The schemes were associated with well-known celebrities including businessman Dick Smith, TV presenter David Koch, and former NSW Premier Mike Baird.

ACCC Chair Rod Sims said that Meta was responsible for the ads on its platform and that it was aware of the crypto scams but didn't take sufficient action to address the issue. Sadly, it seems that some customers and users on Facebook did indeed fall for some of the averts, Sims said that in one "shocking case " the ACCC was aware of someone who lost more than $650,000 to one of the scams.

Meta has attracted global scrutiny over its handling of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and Instagram was banned in Russia because of its decision to continue allowing calls for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in a deviation from its usual policy.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9