SEOUL, June 7 (Korea Bizwire) – Following controversy surrounding its use of a free cache server in South Korea last month, Facebook, the American social network giant, is once again embroiled in controversy as a growing number of users have complained about the misleading description of its messaging app that tricked many people into downloading it on their mobile device.
Facebook, which launched as a social networking site and has grown into a comprehensive mobile service offering a variety of features ranging from a messenger to video streaming, is now facing criticism from South Korean users over its alleged abuse of power.
Against this backdrop, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC), a regulatory body that oversees South Korean media, is investigating allegations that the American social network service coerced its users into downloading its messaging app.
Users have reported receiving notifications from Facebook that a message has been sent to them which can only be opened in the messaging app.
An official from Green Consumer Network, a consumer interest group that filed a complaint with the KCC over Facebook’s deceptive words that led its users to download the messaging app, said, “Once you open the messages, they are just to give notice that someone else has joined the messenger, which bears no significance.
“Many Facebook users complained they felt deceived or that they had wasted data,” the official said.
Another criticism facing the social network giant is over its alleged lax oversight of false and obscene advertising found on its webpage.
Advertisements seemingly selling clothes from famous fashion brands at cheap prices were reported to have been illegally collecting credit card numbers, while a growing number of advertisements showing pornographic images have been reported by Facebook users.
Though the company said advertisements that violate Facebook’s policies are banned and not displayed again, some accuse the company of being purposefully lax in its review of advertisements in order to benefit financially.
In April, SK Broadband users experienced connection failures and latency on Facebook which, many speculated, was due to the rerouting of data on Facebook’s part after the telecom provider failed to come to an agreement with the social network.
Facebook boasts two messaging apps with a user base of more than one billion – Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
According to mobile app industry data analyst WiseApp, Facebook is the tenth most used app among Android users, with Facebook Messenger ranked 21st.