MSE founder Martin Lewis has asked Facebook to fundamentally change the way it polices adverts, in a meeting with one of the social media giant's senior executives today.
Martin issued high court proceedings against Facebook in a personal capacity last month, to try and stop fake adverts using his name and picture being posted on the site by scammers. He's pledged any and all money paid out to him will be donated to anti-scam charities.
He went to Facebook's offices today (Wednesday 16 May) with his legal team for a ‘without prejudice’ meeting with Steve Hatch, Facebook’s Vice President for Northern Europe.
The meeting was confidential, so Martin can't say what happened in it, but you can see his thoughts in the video below:
For more about Martin's campaigning defamation lawsuit, see his Martin Lewis to sue Facebook blog.
Martin: 'Facebook needs to take responsibility'
Speaking before the meeting, Martin said: “I will be asking Facebook to agree to a binding deal that locks it in to fundamentally changing the way it polices adverts. It has to stop putting the onus on others to report scams – and needs to take responsibility itself. After all, it is being paid to publish them.
“Since I launched the lawsuit, Facebook has admitted there were actually 1,000s of fake ads with me in. After over a year of doing little, finally, when I sued, it took action to remove most of them. Yet a company that claims to be moral shouldn’t require militant legal action to stir it into action. Facebook can’t now just think it can make me a special case, get rid of ads with me in, and it’ll all go away.
“It must set up a proactive system to prevent fake ads with any public figures in them – that is the only way to prevent vulnerable people having their lives ruined by losing money due to these scams, and the reputational damage it causes those of us in the adverts. If it refuses to do this to my satisfaction, I will continue to court - where I believe a judge will rightly agree that I’ve been defamed, and that Facebook is a publisher of those defamatory ads.
“If I win I pledge any damages to go to anti-scam charities. And to settle I’ll also want to hear how it will try and make good the huge damage to countless vulnerable people, who’ve fallen foul of scammers nasty adverts that it has willingly, knowingly and happily been paid to promote.”