The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has instituted a suit against Meta Platforms Incorporated (owners of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms) and its agent AT3 Resources Limited at the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division.
ARCON is seeking a declaration among others that the continued publication and exposure of various advertisements directed at the Nigerian market through Facebook and Instagram platforms by Meta Platforms Incorporated without ensuring same is vetted and approved before exposure is illegal, unlawful and a violation of the extant advertising Law in Nigeria.
ARCON stated that Meta Platforms Incorporated’s continued exposure of unvetted adverts has also led to the loss of revenue to the Federal Government.
ARCON is seeking N30b in sanction for the violation of the advertising laws and for loss of revenue as a result of Meta Incorporated’s continued exposure of unapproved adverts on its platforms.
The regulatory agency maintained that it would not permit unethical and irresponsible advertising in Nigeria’s advertising space.
ARCON further stated that it is not regulating the online media space but rather advertisement advertising and marketing communications on the online platforms in line with its establishment Act.
In 2019, the Nigerian government suspended Twitter on June 4 after it removed a post from President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened to punish regional secessionists.
The ban lasted seven months as telecommunication companies blocked access to users in Nigeria.
However, some Nigerians bypassed the ban through the use of Virtual Proxy Networks (VPN).