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Facebook, Instagram Struggling To Stop Sales Of Counterfeit Louis Vuitton, Gucci And Chanel

Facebook, Instagram Struggling To Stop Sales Of Counterfeit Louis Vuitton, Gucci And Chanel

Romana Hai
Facebook, Instagram Struggling To Stop Counterfeit Louis Vuitton, Gucci And Chanel

Meta’s suite of platforms has become hotspots for counterfeit Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Chanel products.

Research conducted by social media analytics firm, Ghost Data, identified more than 26,000 active counterfeiters’ accounts on Facebook between June 2021 and October 2021.

Meanwhile, the analytics platform discovered more than 20,000 active counterfeiters’ accounts on Meta’s photo-sharing app Instagram, which was higher than last year but below 2019 levels when 56,000 accounts were identified.

Ghost Data revealed that the majority (65%) of such accounts discovered in 2021 were based in China, while 14% were based in Russia and 7.5% in Turkey.

The data illustrates that bad actors are continuing to exploit Meta’s eCommerce priority to sell fake goods.

Reuters, which received exclusive access to Ghost Data’s insights, compiled a list of keywords to help identify dozens of Instagram accounts and Facebook posts that appeared to promote counterfeit goods. In response, Meta removed the accounts and posts for violating its rules.

“The sale of counterfeits and fraud is a problem that has always persisted with new technology,” said a Meta company spokesperson in a company statement.

“We are getting better every day at stopping these sales and cracking down on fraudsters.”

Unlike eCommerce giants like eBay and Amazon, Meta’s suite of apps, including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, offer a more sophisticated way for selling counterfeits as these apps support private messages and allow users to post disappearing content, which makes it harder to track down counterfeit good offenders.

In fact, according to a lawsuit Meta and Gucci jointly filed last year, the platform has struggled to shut down a Moscow-based woman since 2015, who has been accused of selling fake goods across more than 150 accounts found on Meta’s platforms.

Meta touts 3.59 billion monthly active users (MAU) across all of its apps. The company has reportedly removed 1.2 million pieces of counterfeit Facebook content, including accounts, reported to it from January 2021 to June 2021 and about half a million on Instagram. During the same period, the company said it also proactively removed 283 million pieces of Facebook content violating counterfeit, or copyright infringement rules and about 3 million on Instagram, either before brands reported them or before they went live.

But as Meta ramps up its commerce initiatives, the company is looking to crack down even more on counterfeiting.

“As commerce has become a strategic priority for the company and as we’ve been building new shopping experiences, we’ve recognized that we want to make sure those experiences are safe and trusted for brands and for the users,” said Mark Fiore, Meta’s director and associate general counsel for IP, last summer.

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