Australian businessman, Andrew Forrest, has launched criminal proceedings against Facebook, claiming the tech giant has breached Australian money laundering laws. The mining tycoon alleges Facebook has failed to prevent cryptocurrency advertisements and has not done enough to prevent related scams.
As early as 2019, Mr Forest began requesting Facebook remove his image from cryptocurrency schemes advertised on the social media platform. The proceedings come as a result of Facebook failing to comply with the billionaires requests.
Mr Forrest is allegedly concerned everyday Australians are being scammed through such advertisements.
Mr Forrest has stated. ‘I’m concerned about innocent Australians being scammed through clickbait advertising on social media’.
“I want social media companies to use much more of their vast resources and billions of dollars in annual revenue to protect vulnerable people — the people who are targeted and fall victim to these horrible scams with their hard-earned savings,” he said.
Australian law requires the consent of the attorney general to allow private prosecution of foreign corporations.
The lawyer of Mr Forrest, Steven Lewis, has claimed, ‘’The Attorney-General has given her consent to the private prosecution against Facebook in relation to alleged offences under subsection 400.7(2) of the Criminal Code.’
Facebook has not yet released a comment on the proceedings. However, a spokesperson for the company has said, ‘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.’