Posted September 21, 2018 09:20:08The world of advertising is full of misleading ads.
These include misleading ads that suggest children should buy expensive items or products that are not available for free or that are advertised to be safe and fun for children.
The Advertising Standards Authority has made a submission to the Federal Court arguing that Facebook is in breach of its obligations under the Children and Young People’s Act 2003 to take steps to remove misleading ads, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is likely to intervene in the matter.
What is Facebook’s obligation under the Australian Children’s Act?
Under the Children’s Children Act 2003, Facebook is required to remove all misleading advertising from the site within a reasonable time.
This means that for the first six months after a child becomes an account holder on Facebook, the account holder has 24 hours to take actions to remove any misleading advertising.
If a child’s account is breached in the first 6 months, the parent may then request a refund of the purchase price of the product or service the child is using.
Facebook also has a duty to remove information that promotes fraud and deception.
Facebook is required by the Children Act to remove advertising from its platforms and to take measures to prevent misleading advertising, including a requirement to remove ads that appear to be paid for by a third party, and a duty not to promote false information.
Facebook has already taken steps to comply with the Childrens Act by taking steps to ban misleading advertising and to prevent users from promoting fraudulent goods and services.
However, there is a significant gap between Facebook’s obligations under both the Children Law and the Children & Young Persons Act 2003.
Facebook has not taken action to remove the misleading advertising or prevent users advertising items for sale or services that are neither available for sale nor safe for children to use.
What does the Children’ Act require?
The Children’s Law requires that Facebook comply with a number of obligations.
This includes the obligation to remove deceptive advertisements.
Under the Child Act, Facebook must take steps that are reasonable to achieve this obligation.
For example, Facebook has the power to ban certain types of content and may block certain types or categories of advertising if it considers that it has a reasonable basis to believe that it is in violation of the Children, Young Persons and Families Act 2003 or other applicable legislation.
For more information on Facebook’s role in childrens’ online safety, read our blog.
What do I need to do to report a misleading advertisement?
Facebook must take action to immediately remove any advertising that it considers to be in breach.
Facebook can take further steps to prevent people from advertising items or services for sale that are inappropriate or dangerous to children.
This could include, for example, blocking a user’s account, removing the ad or notifying the user of the action.
The following are some examples of actions that Facebook can take to prevent a user from advertising:Blocking a user account blocking a site blocking a page or page group blocking a group or profile blocking the user or an individual from using the site or group blocking the page or the page group from using a site or a group blocking or restricting access to a site restricting access by the user restricting access or access to the site restricting a user or individual from accessing the site blocking or blocking a person from accessing a site block or restricting the use of a site banning access to content blocked blocking or restricted from access blocking or preventing access to any content blocking or restriction of access blocking the use or use of the content of a page blocking a view of content blocked or restricted blocking a review of content from the page blocking the view of any content that is blocked or blocked from access block or restricted banning access from the user block or preventing a user access from accessing any content blocked and restricting the access of the user blocking or prohibiting access from another user blocking access to other content blocking access from a user blocking a search for or access for a user who has not been logged in to the account blocking access for users that have not been authenticated to access a site that is not available to the user.
Blocking or blocking access may not prevent the person from seeing the content that was blocked or prohibited from access.
It is important to note that blocking or limiting access to specific content is not the same as blocking or denying access to access to all content.
For more information, read more about the meaning of blocking and restricting access.
What can I do to get help reporting misleading advertising?
If you think that Facebook has breached its obligations in the Children law, the Australian Consumer Commission will take action.
Contact your local consumer protection department.
The Consumer Protection and Consumer Act 2004 requires that the Australian Fair Trading Commission (the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission) may investigate complaints of misleading advertising on Facebook.
You can call the Australian Commission for Fair Trading on 1800 18 362 or email the ACCC consumer complaints line.
Contact the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) about misleading advertising by using