A Facebook contractor has reportedly accepted thousands of dollars in bribes to reactivate banned accounts, according to an investigation by BuzzFeed News.
A marketing agency based in San Diego, Ads Inc., reportedly paid $5,000 initially and then $3,000 each month to a contractor in Austin office of the largest social media company to restore the agency’s ad accounts. These accounts enabled the agency to manage multiple pages and ad accounts from a centralized hub banned due to Facebook policy violations.
“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 an email statement.
A former Ads Inc. employee has told that Asher Burke, CEO, bribed not one but multiple contractors in exchange for turning the bans. The agency announced it was shutting down in October due to recent investigations.
These ads were part of a scheme that tricked users into signing up for an expensive monthly subscription for a product that was initially marketed as a free trial. The agency made posts to resemble famous media companies.
It also paid Facebook users to place deceptive ads on thousands of accounts. Reportedly, each user was paid $15 to $30 per month for access to their account. By paying users to post ads, the agency was trying to bypass social media’s policies. However, Facebook also prohibits account rentals and actively ban those involved in such activities.
Facebook declined to further comment on whether it suspects more people are involved in reactivating ads and said its investigation is going on. But, it confirmed that an unnamed worker was fired after inquiries from BuzzFeed News sparked an internal investigation.
Do not miss to read the complete investigation report here.