The world’s leading social media platform is under fire from many angles and despite their publicly negative attitude toward cryptocurrencies, it has become evident they allegedly approved fake ICO advertisements using the name and image of Martin Lewis.
Martin Lewis (pictured above), the consumer advice and money-saving expert, is suing Facebookfor defamation after it published dozens of fake adverts featuring his face and name.
He is seeking exemplary damages in the high court, arguing that Facebook failed to prevent or swiftly remove false advertising that has both tarnished his reputation and lured unwitting victims into costly scams. Lewis said he would not profit from any damages won, which he would donate to charities combating fraud, but that he hoped the action would prompt the site to stamp out scam adverts.
Prior to banning cryptocurrency advertisements, it seems Facebook approved multiple ICO advertising campaigns. While that in itself is not entirely uncommon, these ICOs claimed Martin Lewis as one of their major backers. For those unaware of who Lewis is, he founded the MoneySavingExpert website, and he also hosts The Martin Lewis Money Show on the ITV television channel in the United Kingdom.
For some reason, several projects decided to use images of Martin Lewis, as well as his name, to promote the get-rich-quick schemes. While having one fake advertisement slip through is always a distinct possibility, a total of over 50 fake Martin Lewis adverts have been published on the Facebook platform to date. That is not acceptable by any stretch of the imagination.
Martin Lewis issued the following comment on the matter:
“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. Even when they are reported, many have been left up for days or weeks. And finally, when they are taken down the scammers just launch a new, nearly identical campaign very soon afterwards and the whole rigmarole starts again.”
Because there has been no resolution from Facebook regarding these incidents, Martin Lewis has filed an official lawsuit against the social media giant. Solicitor Mark Lewis from Seddons law firm will be leading the case. Some people may recall that name from the Jack Monroe libel case involving defamation on Twitter.