MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis has kicked off High Court proceedings seeking to sue Facebook for defamation.
Lewis (pictured) claims he suffered damage to his reputation after at least 50 fake advertisements bearing his name appeared on the social media site, according to reports.
Several of the adverts use Lewis’ face and endorsements purporting to be from him, which he says he did not make, and links to sites carrying false information.
Lewis will file papers with the High Court today to start the process of a defamation case against Facebook. Lewis has said he will donate any financial redress he receives in way of the damages he is seeking to charities.
Lewis said the adverts from the likes of Bitcoin Code or Cloud Trader had targeted vulnerable people and were fronts for binary trading firms outside the EU.
According to the Guardian, Lewis said a woman had spent £100,000 investing in a binary trading scheme that had his name on it – though she recovered her money, because she had paid by card.
Lewis said: ‘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?’
He said that despite his complaints, Facebook failed to block the adverts.
‘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.
‘It is facilitating scams on a constant basis in a morally repugnant way. If [Facebook chief executive] Mark Zuckerburg wants to be the champion of moral causes, then he needs to stop its company doing this.’
Facebook said: ‘We do not allow adverts which are misleading or false on Facebook and have explained to Martin Lewis that he should report any adverts that infringe his rights and they will be removed.
‘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.’