Meta Sued Over Investment Ads with Fake Celebrity Endorsements

In a groundbreaking legal development, four individuals have taken legal action against Meta Platforms Inc.’s Japanese subsidiary, alleging deceptive investment advertisements featuring counterfeit celebrity endorsements on Facebook and Instagram. The plaintiffs, hailing from Kobe and Tokyo, have initiated proceedings at the Kobe District Court, contending that Meta’s failure to verify the authenticity of such promotions resulted in financial losses. The lawsuit seeks a cumulative sum of 23 million yen ($147,000) in restitution.

The Pervasion of Social Media Investment Scams

The proliferation of social media scams leveraging fabricated celebrity endorsements to solicit investments has emerged as a pervasive issue nationwide. Recent data from the National Police Agency reveals that these fraudulent activities amounted to approximately 27.8 billion yen in losses during 2023 alone. This alarming trend underscores the imperative for robust regulatory measures to combat such malpractices.

Legal Ramifications and Legislative Responses

In response to the escalating prevalence of social media scams, policymakers are contemplating legislative interventions. A senior member of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party has indicated the possibility of imposing legal constraints on social media platforms to mitigate the proliferation of deceptive advertisements. As the government prepares to devise comprehensive strategies to address these concerns, the lawsuit against Meta assumes pivotal significance as a potential precedent-setting case.

Unprecedented Legal Action Against Social Media Operators

The lawsuit against Meta represents a significant legal milestone, marking the first instance wherein individuals seek compensation from a social media platform for damages arising from fraudulent advertisements. The plaintiffs’ legal representatives assert that the lawsuit signifies a paradigm shift in holding social media companies accountable for their role in facilitating deceptive practices. Moreover, the prospect of additional lawsuits underscores the widespread impact of such fraudulent schemes and the urgency to address them through legal recourse.

Allegations of Negligence and Corporate Accountability

Central to the plaintiffs’ claims is Meta’s alleged negligence in assessing the potential harm to consumers and validating the authenticity of advertisement content. By disseminating false endorsements and deriving financial gains from advertising revenues, Meta stands accused of breaching its duty of care towards users. The lead attorney for the plaintiffs, Yasumichi Kokufu, has sharply criticized Meta for its failure to diligently scrutinize fraudulent advertisements, underscoring the company’s culpability in perpetuating financial harm.

Meta’s Response and Industry Implications

In response to inquiries regarding the lawsuit, Meta has opted to refrain from providing specific commentary on individual cases. The company’s stance reflects the broader challenges confronting technology behemoths like Meta in navigating legal scrutiny and reputational risks associated with fraudulent activities on their platforms. As Meta, formerly Facebook Inc., continues to grapple with regulatory scrutiny and public scrutiny, this lawsuit underscores the imperative for enhanced diligence in policing deceptive practices across social media ecosystems.


The lawsuit against Meta Platforms Inc. underscores the urgency of addressing the proliferation of deceptive investment advertisements on social media platforms. As individuals seek legal recourse against tech giants for their complicity in perpetuating financial scams, the outcome of this case holds significant ramifications for industry accountability and regulatory oversight. In the pursuit of fostering a safer digital environment, stakeholders must collaborate to enact robust measures that deter fraudulent practices and safeguard consumer interests.

Scroll to Top