Facebook agrees to donate £3m to Citizens Advice over scam adverts

Facebook agrees to donate £3m to Citizens Advice over scam adverts
Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com.

Martin Lewis has dropped a campaign lawsuit against Facebook after the social network agreed to donate £3 million to Citizens Advice and set up a new scam advert prevention project.

The consumer champion previously announced his intention to sue Facebook for defamation in a personal capacity in a groundbreaking lawsuit, following a raft of scam ads featuring his picture.

The two have now announced a new initiative that includes a specialist scam adverts reporting tool on the social network and the donation to the new Citizens Advice Scams Action (CASA), which will launch in May and be used to support the victims of scam advertising and offer education on spotting them.

Mr Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: “I didn’t want to take out a lawsuit. That was not my aim. My aim was to try and reduce the number of hideous scam adverts in UK advertising that have hurt real people.”

Mr Lewis also called on other advertising platforms to follow Facebook’s example, saying Google and others had to “stand up and take responsibility” for scam adverts on their platforms.

He said the scam advertising may not “be as sexy” as problems around “fake news and Russian bots” but said it affects real people’s lives, calling it a “national epidemic”.

He added that he would not rule out another lawsuit “if things did not improve”.

Facebook has agreed to donate £2.5 million in cash over the next two years and £500,000 in Facebook advert credits coupons over the next three years.

Facebook said its new dedicated tool for the UK will be used to allow ads to be more quickly reported.

The social network’s Northern Europe regional director Steve Hatch said: “We’re grateful to Martin Lewis for bringing attention to this important issue and for his guidance over the last eight months.

“Our donation to Citizens Advice and our launch of a new UK scam ad reporting tool and dedicated operations team for this reporting channel is part of a wider commitment to tackling scams and to ensuring people are given more transparency and controls over the ads they see on Facebook.”

- Press Association

More on this topic

Detained suspect asks for selfie with arresting officersDetained suspect asks for selfie with arresting officers

Probe into Facebook cryptocurrency ‘being considered by Westminster MPs’Probe into Facebook cryptocurrency ‘being considered by Westminster MPs’

Big Tech unlikely to find any cheer as its EU scourge Vestager prepares to step downBig Tech unlikely to find any cheer as its EU scourge Vestager prepares to step down

US Air Force warns against prank Facebook call to ‘storm Area 51’US Air Force warns against prank Facebook call to ‘storm Area 51’

More in this Section

Probe into Facebook cryptocurrency ‘being considered by Westminster MPs’Probe into Facebook cryptocurrency ‘being considered by Westminster MPs’

Google to plug loophole in Chrome’s Incognito modeGoogle to plug loophole in Chrome’s Incognito mode

Eufy Smart Scale P1 does what it says on the tinEufy Smart Scale P1 does what it says on the tin

Decision on Huawei ‘must be matter of priority for next PM’Decision on Huawei ‘must be matter of priority for next PM’


Lifestyle

Robert Plant and Saving Grace review: Top class ensemble made for a memorable night at the Everyman in Cork, writes Joe DermodyGig review: Robert Plant and Saving Grace at the Everyman

Kya deLongchamps is mesmerised by early French glass paperweightsIn a bubble: The glittering history of French glass paperweights

During my first pregnancy I developed a network of spider veins on my thighs. Even more appeared during my second pregnancy. What would you recommend?How do I deal with spider veins in pregnancy?

More From The Irish Examiner