Facebook has long struggled to contain the spread of misinformation, and the advertising that companies place on the site is no different. That’s why Facebook has a specific policy banning ads that feature misleading claims. However, according to a new report from The Independent this week, companies can easily use fake Twitter testimonials in their Facebook ads despite the company’s policies.
The report’s authors easily found evidence of “numerous companies” using these fake advertisements, including a popular dating app and an app creating templates for social media posts. According to the report, some of the fake testimonials came from Twitter accounts that the companies themselves operated, while others appeared to simply lift the name and image of accounts with little activity.
Thankfully, both companies quickly removed these fraudulent ads when contacted by The Independent. However, Facebook told the publication that these ads actually didn’t violate its policies because “they are not advertising misleading claims about the benefits of a product, service, or functionality.” However, Facebook didn’t have a comment when it was pressed further about how these fake testimonials could be construed as anything other than a misleading claim.
Of course, it would be unreasonable to expect Facebook to catch every fake ad on its platform. However, the fact that these ads weren’t even against its rules feels like a potentially big problem.
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