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Facebook Sued for Fraud

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Facebook is being sued for allowing advertising which excludes people by race.

Facebook is being sued for using fraudulent data in its advertising sales.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is being sued for the website’s hate speech posts?

Did we leave anything out? If you know of even more lawsuits filed against either Facebook or its owners please let us know.

This may seem like a pile on, but when you are one of the world’s biggest companies and fastest corporate success stories in history you are certainly going to rub a lot of people the wrong way.

First the New York Post is reporting that Facebook is being sued by three different advertisers over what they call “fraudulent ad metrics.” Filed in a San Francisco court, the suit claims that Facebook cheated the plaintiffs by deliberately overestimating the amount of time that its users spend looking at advertisements.

The suit states, “As a result of Facebook’s ‘fraudulent’ conduct, plaintiffs and members of the class expended money on advertising that they would not otherwise have spent based on a false belief that the advertisements were more successful than they actually were.”

Then there is the suit against Facebook over how the company’s advertising system makes it easy for people to exclude possible clients and customers based on race or ethnicity. (Read our report on it here.) In short, the company offers businesses targeted advertising to better reach only their desired customer base. But this also allows the advertisers to deliberately avoid certain groups that they may find to be “undesirable.”

Business Insider reports that a law suit which seeks class action status was filed in a California Federal court on Thursday over this very practice.

Landlords could use the targeted ads on Facebook to avoid letting entire groups of people even see that they have properties for rent. In this way they can violate Federal fair housing and civil rights laws in an indirect fashion. Employers could also exploit this to ensure that only certain types of people see their job openings.

The suit states, “No user can tell whether they are subject to illegal discrimination, because the discrimination occurs with the ads they do not see.”

Finally, Mark Zuckerberg himself is being sued in Germany because Facebook does not remove all hate speech from the site. How dare Facebook not police every single word posted by its more than 1 billion users worldwide. Other Facebook executives like Sheryl Sandberg are also named in the suit.

Politico reports that the suit maintains that by not deleting all posts which deny the Holocaust or which support Nazism in any way after multiple requests to do so the company violates German laws banning such hate speech.

Three serious law suits leveled against Facebook in just the last few days. Think of how many frivolous suits are filed every day against the company.

Well as it has billions in annual revenue, Facebook has probably set aside a few bucks for its legal fees.

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