Google and Facebook are failing to take down scam advertising online

Tech giants Google and Facebook are failing to take down scam advertising online – even after they are reported by victims, Which? reveals

  • Which? said a survey exposed ‘significant flaws’ in the tech giants’ response
  • Third of scams on search engine and social media site were not taken down 
  • 298 victim to a scam though an advert on either a search engine or social media 

Google and Facebook are failing to remove scam adverts online even after they have been reported by victims, according to Which?.

The consumer champion said a survey exposed ‘significant flaws’ in the tech giants’ response to an ‘industrial’ amount of fraudulent content online.

It found a third of scam adverts on the search engine and a quarter of those on the social media platform were not taken down despite being flagged.

The survey of 2,000 people, carried out by Opinium, found 298 people had fallen victim to a scam though an advert on either a search engine or social media

A spokesman for Google said: ‘We take action on potentially bad ads reported to us and these complaints are always manually reviewed’

A spokesman for Facebook said: ‘Our teams disable billions of fake accounts every year’

In response, Google said it enforced advertising rules ‘vigorously’ and had blocked or removed over 3.1billion adverts for violating its policies.

Facebook said it had 35,000 security experts and sophisticated AI technology to combat fake accounts.

The survey of 2,000 people, carried out by Opinium, found 298 people had fallen victim to a scam though an advert on either a search engine or social media. The study also found that when scam adverts were taken down they would often pop up again under different names.

A spokesman for Google said: ‘We take action on potentially bad ads reported to us and these complaints are always manually reviewed.’

A spokesman for Facebook said: ‘Our teams disable billions of fake accounts every year.’

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