Thailand could ban Facebook over cryptocurrency ads

Thailand has warned to ban Facebook if the social network doesn’t get its act together regarding alleged investment and cryptocurrency scam ads popping up on its platform.

The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) has made it clear that unless Facebook takes proper steps to address these issues, they’ll be heading to court to seek an order to shut down the social media giant. According to MDES, more than 200,000 people have fallen victim to Facebook ads promoting various crypto scams and fake investment opportunities. These fraudulent ads even posed as government agencies like the nation’s Securities and Exchange Commission.

These scams were all about luring people into crypto investment and trading schemes, with some ads using images of celebrities and well-known financial figures. The tactics included promising unrealistically high daily returns, going as high as 30%.

Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, the Minister of MDES, mentioned that they’ve been in talks with Facebook (now known as Meta) and even sent them a letter addressing the issue. But according to the ministry, Facebook hasn’t been screening advertisers and tackling the problem at its root.

“It has been a most critical issue that many big corporates and famous people had their names and images impersonated to create fake content to lure people for investment,” Thanakamanusorn said.

He warned that if Meta does not take appropriate action within seven days, Thailand’s authorities could potentially shut down the platform in the country, which is Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

In addition, the Thai Police are also gearing up to file lawsuits against the scammers operating those fraudulent crypto ads. The legal actions will span both criminal and civil courts, signaling a multi-pronged approach to tackle the issue and bring those behind the scams to justice.

The Thai SEC  mandates a trading risks disclaimer that must be prominently displayed to retail customers to keep them aware of the potential risks associated with engaging in cryptocurrency trading. It reads: “Cryptocurrencies are high risk. Please study and understand the risks of cryptocurrencies thoroughly, because you may lose your entire investment.”

As part of the new regulations, exchange operators in Thailand are required to ensure that users acknowledge the risks associated with crypto trading before they can use their services. Furthermore, the SEC has introduced a mandatory investor suitability assessment to determine the appropriate trading limits for users. These assessments will take into consideration factors such as the financial capability and risk tolerance of individuals.