Why Martin Lewis is suing Facebook

Why Martin Lewis is suing Facebook

A personal finance expert who appears regularly on British television launched legal action on Monday (April 23) against Facebook, claiming it had published more than 50 fake posts bearing his name past year.

He said the legal action was not created to win the defamation case itself, but to force the company to change its policy on advertising, for example reducing the risk of such scams by having inbuilt settings notifying well known people every time their image was used in an advert, requiring their approval that the post was legitimate. Many have photos of Lewis and his name, alongside a raft of false promises or endorsements.

The adverts used titles such as "Bitcoin code" and "Cloud trader" to encourage people to plough their savings into a range of "get rich schemes".

Lewis said he had taken the decision "to try and stop all the disgusting repeated fake adverts from scammers it refuses to stop publishing with my picture, name and reputation". "No newspaper would have run these adverts, and certainly not over 50 times", said Lewis.

Solicitor Mark Lewis, the lawyer who represented the Dowler family in the phone-hacking case against the News of the World, is representing Mr Lewis.

He said the action was not created to win the defamation case itself but to force the company to change its policy on advertising.

According to Lewis, a woman had spent 100,000 pounds ($140,000) in "a binary trading nightmare" that had attached his name to its advertising.

"I don't do adverts".

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Mr Lewis complained that Facebook puts the onus on him to monitor ads bearing his name and image - although he has informed Facebook that he isn't involved in any advertising at all on the platform. What is particularly pernicious about Facebook is that it says the onus is on me, so I have spent time and effort and stress repeatedly to have them taken down. This shouldn't be hard - after all, it's a leader in face and text recognition.

"I have to report them (the adverts)".

"I get about five messages a day from people saying, 'I've just seen your Bitcoin ad and wanted to check it.' If that is the number who get through to me, how many more must be just taken in?"

If Mr Lewis wins his High Court case, he said he would donate any award to charities who help people who have been fleeced by scam artists. "My hope is this lawsuit will force it to change its system". It's about time Facebook took responsibility. Nothing else has worked.

Lewis has repeatedly reported the fake adverts, but said they can take "days or weeks" to be pulled down by Facebook.

"We are in direct contact with his team, offering to help and promptly investigating their requests, and only last week confirmed that several adverts and accounts that violated our Advertising Policies had been taken down", the spokesperson continued.

Martin Lewis, creator of MoneySavingExpert and TV presenter of the UK-broadcast Martin Lewis Money Show, is seeking damages from the USA -headquartered social networking giant for, he alleged, repeatedly hosting a slew of "get-rich-quick schemes" and endorsements based around cryptocurrency trading.

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