Martin Lewis, an English journalist, TV presenter and founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, has revealed that he is filing a “campaigning defamation” lawsuit against Facebook. He will present the case to the High Court stating that Facebook has published ads, created by scammers who used his face and name to lure people into their projects, on the platform.
Lewis wrote that more than fifty adverts had used his name and that they were viewed by over millions of people in the UK. The most common trend among these promotions were cryptocurrency get-rich-quick schemes. His lawyer, Mark Lewis, said, “Facebook is not above the law – it cannot hide outside the UK and think that it is untouchable. Exemplary damages are being sought. This means we will ask the court to ensure they are substantial enough that Facebook can’t simply see paying out damages as just the ‘cost of business’ and carry on regardless. It needs to be shown that the price of causing misery is very high.”
Lewis has been trying to report and stop these scammers for more than a year. His ‘presence’ in fake projects encouraged people to put their trust in the companies. A woman even lost £100,000 because of these fraudulent organizations.
“I don’t do adverts. I’ve told Facebook that. Any ad with my picture or name in is without my permission. I’ve asked it not to publish them, or at least to check their legitimacy with me before publishing. This shouldn’t be difficult – after all, it’s a leader in face and text recognition. Yet it simply continues to repeatedly publish these adverts and then relies on me to report them, once the damage has been done,” said Lewis.
The problem relies on the fact that these ads are taken down after weeks, by which time scammers create and launch new ones into the network. Lewis stated that if Facebook was really a platform and not a publisher, it was responsible for buying and promoting these ads. He mentioned that hopefully the system will become more efficient after his lawsuit. “[T]his whole episode has been extremely depressing – to see my reputation besmirched by such a big company, out of an unending greed to keep raking in its ad cash,” he concluded.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos