Meta Accused Of Discrediting University Researchers For Flagging Fraud Adverts On Its Platforms

Tech giant Meta has been accused of trying to discredit researchers from a leading university in Brazil after they found the app guilty of taking part in fraud ad activity.

The report was first published by the country’s leading media outlet Nucleo who says it had evidence in the form of governmental documents that shed light on how attorneys standing for Meta questioned its researchers’ credibility via NetLeb which is a part of the university.

Facebook’s parent firm was said to be involved in rolling out fraud ads on different apps and these researchers were quick to highlight the behavior that they claim was taking place at an alarming pace online.

The research is also believed to have given rise to data provided to the country’s Senacon body which made the bold decision to fine the organization a whopping $1.7 million that continues to be in the appeal phase. Meanwhile, Meta is said to have been fined separately for $1.2 million linked to Cambridge Analytica.

As mentioned by the Brazilian media, the report from NetLab proves how Meta’s leading app Facebook continued to promote close to 1800 scam advertisements, despite knowing the dangers of fraudulent behavior that it was promoting.

These ads were making use of names of programs linked to the government and therefore falsely promised users to help them get out of their debt stages.

As a reply to that certain fine, a few attorneys that stood for Meta claimed the research experts at NetLab were out to defame the tech giant and also added how there was a lot of bias involved. The fact that they did not include Meta while considering the results was another point that they found to be unfair and shocking.

But Brazil’s Nucleo news outlet says it attained the filings via its right to information requests through Senacon. All of these documents were said to be from December of 2023 and were part of the legal case that Meta is still fighting against at this moment in time.

Meanwhile, one representative from NetLab mentioned how they did not wish to be identified for obvious reasons but they were aware of the report being rolled out by Nucleo.

We are seeing similar kinds of pushbacks against several social media platforms taking place in America. It was mentioned how another top research body in the US keeps getting scaled back by the university as it receives more pressure from Republicans located in the US House of Reps.

Close to 70 different civil society groups present have detailed more on this front including how Meta is backed up by plenty of legal maneuvers taking place as we speak. There’s an attack being conducted on research and many moves to intimidate users keep taking place as we speak. They are also able to bring the truth to light and help showcase how many apps are making use of paid content for promotional purposes that cause nothing but harm and put the country’s democracy at stake.

More arguments on this front spoke about how Meta is doing everything it can to stop researchers from attaining access to its data including advertising platforms as studies rolled out on this front are doing nothing but harm.

Meta ended up disabling the accounts of two leading research firms because it felt it was under attack. It accused those at NYU’s Ad Observatory Project of going against its terms of service. But many research experts feel it’s obvious what Meta wants to do here. It’s trying long and hard to transform real facts into disinformation when that’s far from the truth.

Image: DIW-Aigen

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