May 30, 2024
Latest Cryptocurrency News

Australian Billionaire Drops Lawsuit Against Meta Over Crypto Scam Ads

The District Court of Western Australia dismissed a case brought by Australian mining mogul Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest against Meta, the parent corporation of Facebook and Instagram.

Forrest claimed that bogus bitcoin adverts employing his image on Meta’s platforms caused significant losses for unsuspecting individuals. However, prosecutors cited insufficient evidence to back up their claims.

Background and Legal Actions

Forrest, chairman of Fortescue Metals and one of Australia’s wealthiest individuals, initiated criminal charges against Meta in February 2022 under Commonwealth Criminal Code Anti-Money Laundering sections.

He accused the social media giant of knowingly profiting from illegal ads and failing to remove them promptly. Despite receiving approval from the Australian attorney general to pursue the case, Forrest’s efforts were thwarted by the court’s decision.

In November 2019, Forrest addressed an open letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, urging the company to remove fraudulent ads and prevent the misuse of his image. Meta entered a plea of not guilty to the charges in December 2023.

Andrew Forrest. Source: Flickr

Response from Forrest and Meta

In a statement to The Guardian, Forrest expressed his disappointment, stating that Meta’s platforms seemed beyond the jurisdiction of Australian laws, leaving users vulnerable to scams facilitated by sophisticated technology.

Meanwhile, a Meta spokesperson reiterated the company’s commitment in combating scams on its platforms, asserting ongoing efforts to protect users from fraudulent activities.

Continued Legal Battles and Scam Concerns

Forrest pursued a civil suit against Meta in California Northern District Court in June 2022, alleging complicity in facilitating scam ads through its advertising interface. However, Meta filed a motion to dismiss the case in January.

Despite legal actions, scam advertisements misusing Forrest’s image persist on Meta’s platforms, with recent instances detected as deep-fake images in February.

In a related development, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, filed a lawsuit against individuals in China accused of distributing scam apps downloaded over 100,000 times from its platform.

Image by freepik

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