Jamel Debbouze, Élise Lucet… What do these false “revelations” that flood social networks hide?

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Celebrities are victims of a massive distribution of sponsored content on Facebook and X, which spread false information with scandalous headlines and links to fake articles that attribute comments they never made to them.

“Elise Lucet’s performance on television ended in tragedy” either “Francis Cabrel risks going to prison after revealing his secret live on television” : In mid-March, fake press articles with scandalous titles and fake interviews with celebrities are distributed massively among Internet users on social networks, through sponsored posts. These fake news Its goal is to promote online cryptocurrency and investment sites.

To attract clicks, these fake articles invent statements or incidents around popular personalities such as Vincent Cassel, Francis Cabrel, Cyril Lignac, Élise Lucet or even Jamel Debbouze. The latter thus appears handcuffed by the Australian police, alleging that a “A mistake cost him his career”. In reality, it is a montage made from a news agency photograph showing the arrest of a protester in Sydney during an anti-lockdown demonstration in 2021.

Facebook and X Ads

But by clicking on the publication link, the Internet user finds himself faced with a fake daily article. The worldIt is supposed to reveal a simple internet enrichment tip revealed by Jamel Debbouze during a television appearance on the show. “Daily”. A trick so effective that today it would be worth it “attacked in court” by the Bank of France, again according to this story. But he is made up from A to Z, since Jamel Debbouze never made the statements attributed to him in this supposed transcript of his appearance on the program in 2017.

If this phenomenon begins to affect social networks “financial scam industry” He has been active on Facebook for some time, as noted by Alexandre Alaphilippe, executive director of the NGO that fights disinformation EU DisinfoLab, interviewed by AFP. These campaigns – in order to “Create legitimacy and try to attract clicks: we have established mechanisms to falsify brands or false statements of personalities with very attractive titles in regular ads on the Meta platform”he detailed.

This content includes several codes from previous scam campaigns carried out on the platform, whether «Facebook hustles»revealed by an investigation by the group that fights against disinformation CheckFirst, or a set of 242,000 fake Facebook pages that spread pro-Kremlin content, such as financial scams, revealed by the NGO specialized in digital issues Reset.

“The scam ads used different tactics to gain traffic on Facebook, such as deceptive redirects, typosquatting (the use of domain names of publicly recognized sites, editor’s note), and deceptive landing pages. All of these practices are prohibited in Meta’s spam policy.summarizes the Reset report.

The responsibility of the platforms

These sponsored ads also lead the advertiser to pay Meta and X to make them more visible and targeted. Contacted by AFP, the Meta group limited itself to indicating that its “Teams remain committed to continuing their work to remove content and accounts” who break their rules. However, the deceptive practices in force on the platform can have important consequences, according to Alexandre Alaphilippe: “Facebook users are not safe on the platform because they can be tricked into giving money to cybercriminals.”

On X, many users deplore the omnipresence of this misleading content promoted in their news, some even denouncing a form of “harassment”.

Given the magnitude of the misleading publications that concern her, Élise Lucet, presenter of Cash Investigation, denounced a “scam” and called on its subscribers to be careful with these promotions for “cryptocurrency sites”. The group The world For his part, he has indicated to AFP his intention to file a complaint against “digital identity theft and trademark counterfeiting”.

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