Facebook Marketplace often comes under scrutiny for hosting the sale of illegal wares like guns and drugs. However, there are more subtle black markets that are allegedly thriving on the platform. According to a recent report from the Tech Transparency Project (TTP), Facebook is allowing users to buy and sell business manager accounts that can be used to promote scams, misinformation, and more.
In its research, the TTP found over 100 Facebook groups where users are openly trading these accounts in violation of Facebook’s policies. Many of these groups were already linked to someone’s credit card, indicating that they were hacked or stolen.
“Facebook is allowing this black market to thrive right under its nose,” the TTP wrote in its report. “And the kind of accounts that are being sold — business manager accounts capable of running multiple assets and ad campaigns — are well suited to operations of coordinated inauthentic behavior that Meta claims it’s determined to purge from its platforms.”
“Until Meta takes steps to curb this activity—and enforce its own policies — the problem of spam, scams, and election interference will likely persist,” the group concluded.
While Facebook will never be perfect when it comes to content moderation, this seems like a problem the company should be doing far more to address. Hopefully this report spurs Facebook to take these scam groups more seriously.
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