The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has filed a N30 billion ($44 million) lawsuit against Meta Platforms Incorporated(Owners of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp), alleging that the company has violated Nigerian advertising laws by running unvetted ads on its Facebook and Instagram platforms.
ARCON claims that Meta’s failure to vet ads has led to the publication of indecent and misleading ads, harming Nigerian consumers and damaging the country’s advertising industry. The regulator is also seeking damages for the loss of revenue to the Nigerian government.
Meta has denied the allegations, saying it complies with all applicable advertising laws in Nigeria. However, ARCON has said it will use all legal means to ensure that Meta complies with Nigerian law.
The case will be heard in the Federal High Court in Abuja in October.
The lawsuit by ARCON is a significant development in Nigeria’s ongoing debate over regulating social media platforms.
ARCON is the first Nigerian regulatory body to take legal action against a significant social media platform for violating advertising laws.
The outcome of the case could have implications for how social media platforms are regulated in Nigeria in the future. If ARCON is successful, it could set a precedent for other regulatory bodies to take legal action against social media platforms for violating their laws.
The case is also likely to draw attention to the issue of unvetted ads on social media platforms.
It remains to be seen how the court will rule in the case. However, the lawsuit by ARCON is a sign that Nigerian regulators are taking the issue of unvetted ads on social media platforms seriously.