Martin Lewis settles lawsuit with Facebook as they agree to donate £3million to an anti-scam charity and add a ‘scam ads’ reporting button to Facebook in the UK.
Early last year, Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis issued high court proceedings against Facebook, over defamation where over 1,000 scam adverts abusing his name, his image and some of Good Morning Britain’s presenters’ images had appeared on the site.
These adverts were seen by millions of people in the UK, resulting in a selection of people falling for these scams and losing up to £100,000.
After a 10-month ongoing battle with Facebook, the lawsuit ended yesterday with positive results. Instead of continuing legal action against Facebook, Martin has agreed to drop his lawsuit and agreed a settlement with Facebook on the conditions that Facebook would help fight against the scamming problem in the UK.
Martin has always pledged that any money paid out to him from Facebook would be donated to anti-scam charities. Facebook agreed to donate £3million to a new project in partnership with Citizen’s Advice known as the UK Scams Action project, which aims to launch in May 2019.
The Citizens Advice scams action project (CASA) will help to support and identify new as well as tackle online scams and support the users who have fallen victim to these adverts.
Alongside this, Facebook also agreed to launch a dedicated tool to report scam ads. This feature will be a button on Facebook pages and will allow users to quickly and easily report any posts that appear to be a scam and will be dealt with immediately by a dedicated team. Facebook says that this tool will help them keep up to date with any new scams that might be introduced and will let them gather important feedback from users.
Speaking about the settlement, Martin said: “The aim of my campaigning lawsuit was always to stop scam ads, and to help those who have fallen victim to them. What we’re announcing today does that at a far bigger scale than I could’ve hoped for.”
Facebook aren't the only ones having problems with advertising on their platform, though. It was announced yesterday that several popular Instagram influencers have 'volunteered' to change their approach to advertising following investigation from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
Although this may differ from adverts created to purposely scam online users, it raises questions over the legitimacy of social media advertising and some of the arguably deceitful methods currently being used by influential online figures.