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Plaintiffs file lawsuit against Facebook Japan over scam ads

TOKYO26 April (NHK) – Four victims of fraud by scammers have taken the Japanese division of the American IT giant Meta to court. They say the operator of Facebook and Instagram has failed to verify the authenticity of social media advertisements.

The four plaintiffs, aged between 40 and 60, filed the lawsuit in Kobe District Court on Thursday.

They say they were defrauded of money after being lured into making investments through fake online advertisements posing as entrepreneur Maezawa Yusaku and other famous investors.

The plaintiffs say Meta is obligated to investigate the content of its social media advertisements to avoid causing unexpected harm to platform users. They claim the company was negligent.

The four are seeking a total of 23 million yen, or about $148,000, in compensation from Meta’s Japanese unit, Facebook Japan.

The lawsuit comes as cases of fraud by celebrity impersonators on social media ads are on the rise.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers say it appears to be the first lawsuit in Japan attempting to hold a platform operator responsible for such scams.

Lead lawyer Kokufu Yasumichi told reporters that the group hopes to make clear that it is impermissible to leave such harmful advertisements online.

He said they will also highlight the need for government regulation to prevent such fraud.

When contacted, Facebook Japan declined to comment on individual cases.

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