- The ACCC takes action over alleged misleading conduct by Meta for publishing fake celebrity crypto ads on Facebook which violates Australian Consumer Law.
- Meta says they are cooperating with the ACCC investigation, aiming to stop scam ads.
- In other news, Meta invests over $1 billion to build a new data center in Spain.
On Friday, March 18, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) accused Meta of engaging in false, misleading, or deceptive conduct by publishing fake advertisements featuring prominent Australian figures.
According to ACCC, Meta has violated the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) or the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act (ASIC Act). In response, the social media giant said they are cooperating with the ACCC’s investigation as Meta pledged to defend itself.
A Meta spokesperson said in a statement:
We aimed to stop scam ads by using technology to detect and block them. We don’t want ads seeking to scam people out of money or mislead people on Facebook — they violate our policies and are not good for our community.
According to the ACCC, the ads featured well-known Australians including former NSW premier Mike Baird and businessman Dick Smith. However, the high-profile personalities featured in the ads had never approved or endorsed them.
The ACCC Chair Rod Sims said:
Apart from resulting in untold losses to consumers, these ads also damage the reputation of the public figures falsely associated with the ads.
In other news, Meta invested over $1 billion to build a new data center in Spain. The social media giant announced its new Metaverse Innovation Hub — a research center in Madrid, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this month. The Metaverse Hub aims to help technology operators and partners prepare for metaverse applications.
Additionally, Meta said the new data center should be built by 2023 but is not expected to be fully operational until 2029. Meta proposes to add 2,000 staff over the next five years in the region to push development, along with the plan to double its office space in Madrid.