The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has sued Meta Platforms Inc. for supposedly enabling “misleading” cryptocurrency advertisements on social media giant Facebook, FT reported.

  • The ACCC said Meta violated consumer and investment laws, as it “aided and abetted” or was knowingly concerned in what is described as “false or misleading” conduct and representation.
  • ACCC Chair Rod Sims noted “dark patterns” in the digital marketplace, with scams supposedly starting in 2019 using images of popular Australians on Facebook linked to fake media articles encouraging users to sign up to cryptocurrency schemes.
  • The regulator found that Meta raised “substantial revenue” in allowing Facebook to be linked to the fake articles, and its infrastructure was used by “ruthless scammers” to zero in on consumers who were most likely to engage with the advertisements.
  • The development comes after a separate case by Australian mining tycoon Andrew Forrest who took Meta to court after images of him were reportedly used to promote cryptocurrency products without consent.

Meta said it is working with the ACCC and will look into the filing in the Federal Court. FB is down 0.79% premarket.