Facebook is facing legal woes in Australia for running afoul of anti-money laundering laws. Andrew Forrest, one of Australia’s richest men, is filing a case in a Western Australian court for not stopping scam ads using his face. The hearing is set for March 28th, 2022.
Forrest’s face features prominently in advertisements promoting crypto schemes which are scams. In the lawsuit, Forrest says that Facebook’s criminally reckless acts failed to stop scamsters from using this social media outlet to cheat Australian citizens. The ads have been seen here since 2019. The filing of a lawsuit means that the company stands a chance of being convicted and the same could be done to other social media outlets. This is the very first criminal case filed against Facebook in the world.
Andrew Forrest did write a letter to Mark Zuckerberg in 2019 requesting the removal of this ad and to protect his public image. There was no answer and despite repeated requests for removal over three years, there has been no action. Andrew then took firm charge of matters and filed a civil lawsuit against the media giant in California in 2019. Legal action in Australia was next.
This is not the first time Facebook has been in hot water over such ads. In Britain, Martin Lewis, a journalist specializing in consumer finance faced the same problem in January 2019. He was made aware of this when he was accused by a fellow Briton of stealing £19,000 Sterling. He dropped the lawsuit when Facebook offered to donate £3 million Sterling to a Citizen Project to advise people against scams. This money was to help British users report ads that looked like scams. Facebook did not comment on the latest Australian lawsuit.