Japan cracks down on social media scams with enhanced ad screening measures


The Japanese government, led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, has resolved to combat the escalating issue of fraudulent advertisements on social media.

According to The Japan News, this initiative comes as part of broader measures endorsed at a recent ministerial meeting, focusing on the prevention of crime. A significant rise in online frauds, particularly through fake ads, has prompted this action. These ads have reportedly doubled the damage from fraud over the past year, reaching a staggering ¥163bn.

Social media platforms, notably Meta Platforms Inc., are expected to elevate their ad screening processes. The government’s comprehensive strategy includes demands for social media companies to develop clear screening standards and enhance their verification processes to ensure ads meet these standards. This includes improving language and legal compliance capabilities among the personnel responsible for screening.

Moreover, the government is calling for swift action to remove any ads found to be fraudulent and is setting strict guidelines to prevent ads that lead to exclusive group chats, which have been identified as a significant risk area.

Other than the focus on social media platforms, the Japanese government has taken measures to safeguard against other forms of online fraud, such as romance scams and special fraud related to mobile phone contracts. For instance, dating app operators are now required to strictly verify user identities.

The government is also pushing for the use of My Number personal identification cards to sign mobile phone contracts, enhancing security by utilizing electronic verification methods to read IC chip information.

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