Facebook and Instagram news roll is often enriched with advertisements related to heavily discounted items. From Lacoste to Oakley and Ray-Ban. But also brand new hi-tech product whose reale value may not be yet perceived by people.
These ads get millions of views and, thanks to impulse buying, they can easily mislead several distracted buyers who will receive a fake carton item. The e-commerce websites are created quickly and they are generic, providing few details and using brands, videos and photos of real products.
Social media platforms of course declare themselves unrelated to the scam, having automated systems that can not identify this type of scams.
From a criminal point of view, if the sale should be declared fraudulent, the position of the social network, having an economic advantage from the alleged offense, should also be evaluated.
Given the modalities, a responsibility should be assessed as conscious fault or even possible fraud also to the platforms. The figures that these ads making are really great and claiming not to be aware would be at least wierd. It would be hard to state that this platform doesn’t have oblique intent not blocking this massive campaigns.
Why people fall so easily into this traps?
First of all its a matter of trust. People perceive their personal feed on Facebook or Instagram as familiar since it’s made by known sources: people or companies they trust.
In second instance most of people working outside digital business doesn’t know how easy is to setup an online campaign. They assume that the social media brand is strong enough to make a clearance before allowing someone to advertise their products. And this is the biggest mistake. Everyone can buy adv spaces without giving any type of credits. And behind a large amount of them there are “bad people”.
Jeff Bezos’ platforms rely on complex automated algorithms to fight these phenomena, providing also a reputation ranking tool: in order to provide safety for consumers Amazon give up profits.
Maybe also Facebook is working on such algorithms but for sure sooner or later with blockchain technologies the issue will be solved.