Google and Facebook fail to fight fake ads, which ones? said
Google and Facebook have been accused of failing to take action to remove fraudulent online ads, despite reports from victims of fraud.
In a survey conducted by Which?, a third (34%) of victims said the fraudulent ads were not removed by Google after reporting them, while a quarter (26%) of victims who reported a fraudulent ad on Facebook also said the ad was not removed by the social media company.
The survey, which was conducted by Opinium on behalf of Which?, interviewed 2,000 adults about their experiences, with 298 people claiming to have been victims of fraudulent advertising.
Which? said online platforms should be given the legal responsibility to prevent bogus and fraudulent ads from appearing on their sites in order to force them to take more action. He called on the government to include such a decision within the scope of its online security bill.
The survey also found low levels of engagement in the scam reporting processes on online platforms. Two in five (43%) scam victims scammed by an online ad said they had not even reported the scam to the platform that hosts it. The main reason for this is that they didn’t think the platform would remove the ad.
“Our latest research has revealed significant flaws in the reactive approach taken by tech giants, including Google and Facebook, in responding to reports of fraudulent content, leaving victims worryingly exposed to scams. Which? said consumer rights expert Adam French. “Which one? Launched a free scam alert service to help consumers learn about the latest tactics used by scammers, but there’s no doubt that tech giants, regulators and the government need to step up to the plate. ‘efforts to prevent scams from thriving.
“Online platforms should be given the legal responsibility to identify, remove and prevent bogus and fraudulent content on their sites. The case for including scams in the online safety bill is overwhelming and the government must act now. “
More than half (51%) of the 1,800 search engine users Which? surveyed said they didn’t know how to report suspicious ads that appear in their search listings, while more than a third (35%) of 1,600 social media users said they didn’t know how to report a suspicious advertisement seen on social media channels
“The combination of the inaction of online platforms when fraudulent advertisements are reported, low levels of reporting of scam victims and the ease with which advertisers can post new fraudulent advertisements even after the advertising has been removed. ‘origin, suggests that online platforms need a more proactive approach to prevent fraudulent content from reaching potential victims in the first place,’ Which? mentionned.
The company has previously conducted research to suggest that Facebook is not doing enough to prevent the sale of fake reviews through its website.
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