Facebook Users Want Appellate Court To Revive Battle Over Scam Ads

Two Facebook users who were bilked by advertisers on the platform plan to ask the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to revive claims that the company "actively solicits" fraudulent ads. 

Oregon resident Christopher Calise and Nebraska resident Anastasia Groschen, who each say they lost money after attempting to purchase items advertised on Facebook, haven't yet presented substantive arguments to the 9th Circuit. The pair initiated an appeal to the 9th Circuit late last week.

Their battle with Facebook, now renamed Meta, dates to last year, when they alleged in a class-action complaint that the company “actively solicits, encourages, and assists scammers” to advertise.

Calise alleged he lost around $49 after attempting to purchase a car-engine assembly kit that was advertised on the site. He said he paid with a debit card, but the merchandise never arrived and he couldn't obtain a refund.



Groschen said she lost around $31 after attempting to purchase an activity board for her toddler, after clicking through a Facebook ad for the product. Instead of the activity board, she received “a cheap wooden” puzzle.

Facebook urged U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White in the Northern District of California to dismiss the lawsuit at an early stage. The company argued it was protected from liability by Section 230, which immunizes web companies for activity by outside companies, including advertisers.

White agreed with the company, writing that even if the allegations in the complaint were proven true, they would only show that Meta hosted ads created by third parties.

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