The parent company of Facebook, Meta is working on its new venture into the metaverse, but a number of US senators have made a demand on its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg.
They want him to prove that the social media company takes the responsibility of tackling crypto scams on its platforms seriously.
New Jersey’s Democrat Bob Menendez led the group of senators that issued a letter on Friday to Zuckerberg in which they asked him to provide details.
These were related to the efforts the company is making to ward off crypto-related scams on its various platforms, which include WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook.
Menendez and his colleagues said in the letter that Meta’s platforms have become a breeding ground for crypto scams that can be harmful to consumers.
The letter was co-signed by Sherrod Brown, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. Other senators who were also part of it included Bernie Sanders, Dianne Feinstein, Elizabeth Warren, and Cory Brooker.
The Senators said that crypto scams are quite rampant on social media, and the websites under Meta are widely used by scammers as a hunting ground for victims.
The US Senators noted that 32% of the consumers who suffer from a crypto-related scam report that the activity occurred on Instagram, 9% of them report it was WhatsApp and 26% become victims via Facebook.
Senator Menendez’s website boasted a statement that referred to his history of criticizing Facebook because of the controversial content that is posted on the social media platform.
This included the misinformation that had been shared about COVID-19, the US elections, and also the Russia and Ukraine conflict.
The Senators expressed their concern about the little effort that Meta is making for preventing misinformation in Spanish.
They also questioned if educational materials and warnings are issued by Meta regarding crypto scams in languages other than English.
The Senators want Meta to provide details about the current policies of the company, which include its practices for proactively identifying and removing potential crypto scams.
They also want insight into the company’s procedure of verification of crypto ads to ensure they are not scams.
Likewise, they are also interested in knowing the policies the company is following for protecting and educating users, removing scammers, and cooperating with law enforcement.
The senators also mentioned the ban that Facebook had imposed on crypto-related ads back in January 2018.
Facebook had stated at that time that a number of companies that were advertising initial coin offerings (ICOs), binary options, and crypto had not been operating in ‘good faith’.
It also added that the said ban would ensure that scammers cannot make profits via the platform. The Senators said that the ban indicated that Facebook was aware of the risks associated with such content.
They added that cryptocurrency requires a high level of scrutiny. Meta has recently begun to integrate non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its platforms.
Facebook and Instagram users can display collectibles and art from the Flow, Polygon, and Ethereum networks.