Business Insider Edition

A Facebook worker reportedly accepted thousands of dollars in bribes to restore banned accounts

Kevin Webb , Business Insider US
 Dec 11, 2019, 10:24 AM
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
  • A Facebook contractor accepted thousands of dollars in bribes from an ad agency, according to a report from BuzzFeed News.
  • Ads Inc. reportedly paid the Facebook worker to restore accounts that had been banned for violating Facebook's policies.
  • Facebook said the person in question is no longer working with the company, but a former Ads Inc. employee told BuzzFeed that there was more than one person employed by Facebook willing to reactivate Ads Inc. accounts in exchange for cash.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

A Facebook contractor was paid thousands of dollars to help a marketing agency restore its banned Facebook accounts, according to a new report from Craig Silverman at BuzzFeed News.

San Diego-based Ads Inc. reportedly paid as much as $8,000 (R118,000) to convince the contractor to reactivate the company's ad accounts after they were shut down for violating Facebook's policies earlier this year.

In October an investigative report from BuzzFeed detailed how Ads Inc. paid to place deceptive ads on thousands of personal Facebook accounts. Ads Inc. reportedly paid Facebook users $15 (R222) to $30 (R444) per month for access to their account, then sold those accounts to other marketers for $800 (R11,000) each.

By paying Facebook users to post ads on their personal page, Ads Inc. and other companies are able to circumvent Facebook's policies for paid advertisements. Facebook prohibits account rentals and deceptive advertisements, and Facebook has been actively banning accounts sharing posts for Ads Inc.

However, Ads Inc. CEO Asher Burke and other employees offered multiple Facebook contractors payment in exchange for reversing the bans, according to BuzzFeed News.

"This behavior is absolutely prohibited under our policies and the individual is no longer working with Facebook. We're continuing to investigate the allegations and will take any further necessary action," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider.

Ads Inc. posts contain links directing Facebook users to sign up for dubious free trials that lead to costly monthly subscriptions when left active for a week or more. BuzzFeed said Ad Inc.'s posts are made to resemble news from popular media companies, but often contain falsified information.

Be sure to head over to BuzzFeed News to read the full report.

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