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Thai Lawmaker Seeks Court Order to Shut Down Facebook Amidst Accusations of Investment Scams


A Thai lawmaker is seeking a court order to stop Facebook investment scams.
Credit: Travel Mania/Shutterstock

BANGKOK, TH – A Thai lawmaker is making headlines as they push for a court order to shut down Facebook within Thailand's borders by the end of the month. The move comes as the lawmaker accuses the social media giant of actively supporting fraudulent investment schemes that have affected a significant number of citizens. This development follows warnings from Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES) to Meta, previously known as Facebook, urging them to tackle the proliferation of fraudulent cryptocurrency investment scams on their platform or risk expulsion from the country.


Facebook Investment Scams Growing


The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES) has raised concerns about the alarming rise of fraudulent crypto investment scams being promoted on Facebook. According to a statement on the Ministry’s website, these scams have victimized more than 200,000 individuals, causing financial losses and eroding public trust. The magnitude of this issue has prompted Chaiwut Thanakmanusorn, the Minister in charge of DES, to take decisive action.


Thai Lawmaker's Ultimatum


Chaiwut Thanakmanusorn has taken the matter to the courts, seeking an order that could result in Facebook's shutdown within Thailand if the platform fails to comply with the government's directives. The lawmaker's move underscores the seriousness of the situation and the government's determination to protect its citizens from falling prey to deceptive investment schemes. This ultimatum marks a significant step in the ongoing battle against online financial fraud.


Facebook's Changing Stance on Cryptocurrency Ads


Over the past three years, Facebook, now operating under the name Meta, has gradually relaxed its restrictions on cryptocurrency and blockchain-related advertisements. This shift has raised concerns about the platform's ability to prevent misleading and fraudulent ads from reaching its user base. The growing number of investment scams has reignited the debate on the responsibility of social media platforms in safeguarding their users from financial harm.


Legal Precedent and International Scrutiny


This is not the first time Meta, formerly Facebook, has faced legal action regarding deceptive crypto ads. In March 2022, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) sued the company for allegedly publishing scam crypto advertisements linked to well-known Australian celebrities. This lawsuit highlighted the global concern surrounding online investment scams and the need for social media platforms to implement rigorous screening measures.


As Thailand's Ministry of Digital Economy and Society takes a firm stance against fraudulent investment schemes, a Thai lawmaker's bid to shut down Facebook over its alleged support for such scams has garnered significant attention.


The outcome of this legal battle could set a precedent for the responsibilities of tech giants in curbing deceptive financial activities on their platforms. As the deadline approaches, all eyes are on whether Facebook will comply with the government's demands or face the prospect of being disconnected from its Thai user base.

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