Thailand's Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES) has issued a stern warning to Meta, formerly known as Facebook, urging the social media giant to take decisive action against the rising tide of fraudulent cryptocurrency investment scams being promoted on its platform. Failure to do so could result in Meta's expulsion from the country.
According to an official statement released on the Ministry's website, these deceptive advertisements have negatively impacted over 200,000 individuals. Chaiwut Thanakmanusorn, the Minister overseeing DES, has taken a strong stance on the issue and has even taken steps to involve the legal system. He has requested a Thai court to prepare an order that could potentially lead to the shutdown of Facebook (Meta) within the country by the end of the current month if the platform does not comply with the ministry's directives.
Over the span of three years, Meta, previously Facebook, has progressively relaxed its restrictions on cryptocurrency and blockchain-related ads. This change in approach, as previously reported by CoinDesk, has entailed broadening the criteria for accepting such advertisements and considering regulatory licenses for their display.
However, the increased prevalence of crypto-related scams has escalated concerns and prompted regulatory intervention. Notably, in March 2022, Meta faced legal action in Australia. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) sued the company on allegations of disseminating fraudulent crypto advertisements featuring prominent Australian celebrities. The ACCC accused Meta of engaging in activities that were misleading, deceptive, and false, casting a shadow on its commitment to user protection.
Thailand's assertive stance underscores the mounting pressure on tech companies to take proactive measures against fraudulent activities proliferating on their platforms. The crypto industry's decentralized and relatively new nature has made it an attractive breeding ground for scams, necessitating vigilance and stringent measures to safeguard users.
Meta now faces a pivotal choice between complying with Thailand's demands and protecting its reputation, or risking expulsion from a significant market. The outcome of this situation could set a precedent for other countries grappling with the challenges posed by crypto-related scams.
As the crypto landscape matures, the responsibility of tech companies like Meta to create a secure environment for their users becomes increasingly paramount. The outcome in Thailand will likely resonate beyond the country's borders, emphasizing the evolving role of social media platforms in ensuring the integrity of the digital ecosystem.