Image source: CNET
While Mark Zuckerberg and Meta focused on building the Metaverse, US senators asked him about fighting the Facebook crypto scam.
Concerns are simmering given the number of crypto scams circulating on the platform.
Senators issue letter
On Friday, a group of senators led by New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez released a letter to the founder of Meta.
The letter asked the company to provide information about its efforts to counter cryptocurrency scams on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
Menendez and his colleagues also claimed that the company is creating a breeding ground for cryptocurrency fraud and is causing significant harm to its users.
Signatories include Senate Banking Commission Chair Sherrod Brown and Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, and Dianne Feinstein.
“While crypto scams are prevalent across social media, several of Meta’s sites are particularly popular hunting grounds for scammers,” the Senators wrote.
They also noted that of consumers who reported cryptocurrency, 32% said the fraudulent activity took place on Instagram, 26% on Facebook, and 9% on WhatsApp.
Criticism and concern
Senator Menendez’s website includes a statement citing his long history of criticism on Facebook.
He asked the social media platform to allow controversial content such as disinformation about COVID-19, the US elections, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The senators stated in their letter how concerned they are about Meta’s attempt to prevent the spread of disinformation in Spanish.
They requested that the platform provide warnings or educational material relating to cryptographic scams outside the English language.
Senators ask Meta to describe the company’s current policies, including the practice of identifying and removing cryptocurrency scammers.
They also want to know how the social media platform verifies that the crypto ads seen are not scams.
Senators also questioned Meta’s policies to educate and protect users, partner with law enforcement in certain situations, and remove scammers from the company’s platforms.
In the letter they penned, the senators referenced Facebook’s January 2018 ban on crypto-related ads on the platform.
At the time, the social media platform said companies promoting binary options, initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies were not operating in “good faith”.
Facebook claimed the ban would prevent scammers from making a profit from being present on the platform.
“This ban clearly shows that you understand the risks posed by this type of content to users,” the Senators wrote in their letter.