Facebook must takedown fake cryptocurrency ads, Dutch court

A Dutch court has ordered the social media behemoth Facebook to disengage itself with fake cryptocurrency ads that purportedly use the image and identity of celebrities to promote their fraudulent schemes.

Cryptocurrency is a relatively new field, and a large percentage of people investing in it are still amateurs. They do not possess much awareness regarding evident red flags when spending their money. Thus, the advertisements featuring the names of famous celebrities, TV personalities, and sought-after entrepreneurs make it seem that if they can, we can too. Earlier this year, fake cryptocurrency advertisements caused Dutch investors to lose as much as two million US dollars ($1.9 million).

Takedown fake cryptocurrency ads or be ready to pay

Realizing the gravity of the situation, the Dutch court on 11th November 2019, ordered Facebook to remove such misleading advertisements that push for unwarranted cryptocurrency investments. Moreover, it also demanded the social network website to take full responsibility for the consequences of such publications, which may lead to Facebook shelling out close to one million US dollars ($1.2 million) in fines.

It appears that the ruling is an eventual outcome of the high-profile lawsuit involving the Dutch billionaire John De Mol, who is reportedly still engaged in a legal scuffle with Facebook for allowing and promoting Bitcoin scams that masquerade his image. Even after months of negotiations, the two parties are yet to come to a formal conclusion.

Facebook stands accountable, Court rules

The summary of the court’s statements stipulates that Facebook can no longer turn a blind eye to the scammers who are misusing the platform. There is no scope for a neutral standpoint, and we can no longer ignore the fact that Facebook, although unintendedly, is playing a significant role in furthering these schemes. Since the company sets a pricing policy for advertisements, it also has a say in which advertisements go up on its website and which ones do not, thus making it responsible for the safety and security of its users, the court added.

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