Fake Libra Ads, Websites ‘Offering’ Facebook’s Cryptocurrency At A ‘Discount’
Facebook’s cryptocurrency project has been heavily scrutinized by
governments throughout the world. Regulatory authorities have asked the
American social media firm to provide more information regarding its crypto
project, while some lawmakers have requested that the company put its plans on
In addition to addressing the concerns of regulators, Facebook’s
management will now have to deal with dozens of fake Libra project pages that
have been created on Instagram and Facebook itself.
Fake Libra Ads “Offering” Coins At A Discount
According to the Washington
Post, there are many fake accounts that have been posing as official
representatives of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project. Although several of these
bogus accounts were deleted by administrators, there may not be an effective
way to detect and remove all of them.
Elka Looks, the
Communications Manager at Facebook’s Calibra crypto wallet, said the social
media platform regularly removes Ads and pages that violate the company’s terms
of service (ToS).
Despite efforts to delete suspicious accounts and pages, there were many
fake Libra Ads (spotted by Washington Post staff) that were reportedly
encouraging users to take part in a pre-sale that would allow them to purchase
Libra coins at a discount.
Fake Websites “Selling” Libra Coins
According to reports, some Ads contained references to Libra project’s
official marketing materials and even featured Facebook’s official logo and the
company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In addition to fake social media accounts and
advertisements, there are a number of fake websites such as BuyLibraCoins.com
that claim they’re offering Facebook’s cryptocurrency in exchange for Bitcoin
Can We Trust Facebook?
Commenting on the trust issues Facebook is facing as it attempts to develop and release its own cryptocurrency, Eswar Prasad, the Tolani Senior Professor of Trade Policy at Cornell University, remarked:
“Facebook has an enormous worldwide network and enormous financial muscle . . . But the only way Libra will work well as a medium of exchange is if everyone can trust it. And that’s the big question right now: whether there is going to be enough trust in Facebook.”
In early 2018, Facebook had placed a complete ban on crypto-related Ads
due to the large number of scams orchestrated under the guise of initial coin
offerings (ICOs). The company’s management had stated (at that time) that its
policies prohibit any type of content that is misleading or uses “deceptive
In May 2019, Facebook partially lifted its ban on crypto-related content
by allowing educational materials related to cryptocurrencies to be posted on
its platform. The social media firm also permitted Ads or content related to
general crypto industry news and blockchain technology.
However, Facebook maintained its ban on Ads promoting specific
cryptocurrency projects and ICOs.
On June 18, the California-based social media giant released the whitepaper for its own
cryptocurrency, Libra and it also launched the project’s website, Libra.org.