The ACCC has announced plans to initiate Federal Court proceedings against Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc. The allegation: engaging in false or deceptive conduct by publishing scam advertisements featuring prominent Australian public figures.

The links from such ads lead to a fallacious article with quotes, attributed to the chosen luminary, endorsing cryptocurrency as a get-rich-quick venture. Businessman Dick Smith, former NSW premier Mike Baird and journalist Waleed Aly are some to have been targeted.

But along with fake crypto adverts are other “sponsored” posts raking in millions for Facebook via its unwary followers.

Directed at older users are advertisements spruiking scam hearing aids. Other ads, aimed at the young, feature stolen photos of genuine fashion garments. Not the linen culottes seen in the photo, but synthetic rubbish run up in a Bangkok backstreet and bearing a fake PO Box number in event of their return.

One hopes that action taken by the ACCC will result in a hard rap on the knuckles of Facebook which equally serves as a platform for misinformation, religious and gender bias and harrowing animal cruelty videos.

A particularly distressing video I saw uploaded from Pakistan, showed a cat placed in a pillowslip being swung violently around a man’s head. Tipped out on the sand, the poor creature continues to roll over and over to the huge amusement of the photographer.

Using some of the world’s most sophisticated technology, Facebook has lightning quick monitoring of certain words posted on its pages. Descriptions such as rag-head (Arab) and couch potato (obesity) and many other words listed as hatred or bullying, result in the poster being sent to Facebook Jail.

This said, some of its judgements, using algorithms, are plainly ludicrous. My comment that a man who attacked his dog with a pitchfork should face jail, and a massive fine, which most would agree with, resulted in a ban of 29 days with no way for me to challenge the decision.

Another downside, but admittedly one difficult to stop, is identity and information theft by internet crooks, the older generation once again being their particular prey. My Facebook profile photo, apparently considered useful to scam, saw me receive scores of friendship requests from divorced, single and widowed men, equally of a certain age.

I had a sergeant major with UN relief in Yemen contact me, an orthopedic surgeon working on a Royal Dutch Shell oil-rig declaring his undying love and most recently an army vet based in poor, wretched Ukraine.

Since changing my photo for one of Millie, my 13-year-old cat, I have had no further inquiries from lonely men, aka Nigerian scammers, of whom an estimated 4000 operate in Lagos alone.

This month, the European Union, leading the charge against social media’s misinformation, divisive contents and dodgy advertisements, announced its intention to reign in Meta, Google and other dominant players on social media.

A new law, to be known as the Digital Services Act, aims to address societal harms by requiring such corporations to more aggressively police their platforms for illicit content. Or  run the risk of billions of dollars in fines.

This groundwork by the EU may assist the ACCC with its case against Facebook, but a new hate and scam free citizen portal can only exist in an ideal world which this planet is clearly not.