Monday, May 23, 2022
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By Bhushan Akolkar
Published 7 hours ago Updated 6 hours ago

Earlier this month, Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest announced that he will be taking Facebook to the court on account of several crypto scams ads running on the platform under his name.

However, in its court documents, Facebook has outrightly rejected claims by Andrew Forrest arguing that the company’s terms of service protect it from liability. Facebook argues that since Andrew Forrest has an official Facebook account, he has agreed to Facebook’s terms of service.

The Australian billionaire has launched civil proceedings against Facebook in the superior court in San Mateo, California. He has slapped charges of “misappropriation of likeness”, “aiding and abetting fraud” and “negligent failure to warn” for Facebook’s failure to stop crypto scam ads appearing under his name.

Forrest argues that due to these scam ads, his reputation has taken a severe hit. He further adds that Facebook is not just a platform but also a publisher of the ads. the court filing from Forrest’s lawyers read:

“Facebook is not simply providing neutral tools for bad actors to carry out fraudulent schemes. Instead, Facebook is utilizing its sophisticated method of collecting data, and then using that data to engage its users for longer periods of time with information, advertisements, and other material, irrespective of what that content is”.

Furthermore, Andrew Forrest has also initiated criminal proceedings in the Western Australian magistrates court. Here, he alleges that Facebook has breached Federal money laundering laws, thus failing to stop the ads.

Facebook claims Innocence in the Crypto Scam Ads

In its argument in the court filing, Facebook says that it isn’t liable for the crypto scam ads citing multiple grounds. First and foremost, Facebook says it is protected by section 230 of the US Communications Decency Act. This limits the liability of websites for third-party content posted on these websites.

Facebook added that since Forrest holds an official account on FB, he has complied with the terms of service. It adds:

“Specifically, section 4.3 of the TOS makes clear that Facebook is ‘provided ‘as is’’, that Facebook ‘make[s] no guarantees that [the platform] always will be safe, secure, or error-free’, and that Facebook ‘do[es] not control or direct what people and others do or say’ and ‘[is] not responsible for their actions or conduct (whether online or offline) or any content they share (including offensive, inappropriate, obscene, unlawful, and other objectionable content)’.”

Andrew Forrest’s response to the Facebook court filing shall arrive by Tuesday, February 22.

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