SYDNEY: Iron ore magnate Andrew Forrest said on Thursday he is launching criminal proceedings against Meta Platform Inc’s Facebook in an Australian court, alleging that it breached anti-money laundering laws and its platform is used to scam Australians.
Forrest, Australia’s richest man and chairman of Fortescue Metals Group, said he was taking the action to stop people losing money to clickbait advertising scams, such as ones using his image to promote cryptocurrency schemes.
The lawsuit filed by Forrest in the Magistrates Court of Western Australia alleges Facebook “failed to create controls or a corporate culture to prevent its systems being used to commit the crime.”
It also alleges Facebook was criminally reckless by not taking sufficient steps to stop criminals from using its social media platform to send scam advertisements to defraud Australian users.
The lawsuit comes after Forrest said he made several requests asking Facebook to prevent his image from being used to promote investment plans, including in an open letter to Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg in November 2019.
Facebook, which changed its name to Meta last year, declined to comment on the lawsuit but said that in general, it has always taken a “multifaceted approach” to stop such ads appearing and had blocked advertisers.
“We’re committed to keeping these people off our platform,” a spokesperson for Meta said in an emailed statement.
Some advertisements, which have used Forrest’s image and claimed to promote cryptocurrency investment schemes, have appeared on Facebook since March 2019, the lawsuit said.