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Martin Lewis to sue Facebook for defamation in groundbreaking campaigning lawsuit - Page 2

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Martin Lewis to sue Facebook for defamation in groundbreaking campaigning lawsuit

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  • edited 23 April 2018 at 5:28PM
    codgercodger Forumite
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    edited 23 April 2018 at 5:28PM
    Martin has pointed this out to The Guardian and Sky by tweet this morning... Bit awkward for them :D

    More than ever, there's a need for a crackdown on websites taking in ad revenue from criminals engaged in serial fraud. As oldagetraveller points out in this thread, it's not merely a Facebook, or social media, issue: Yahoo! has been profiting mightily from the criminal activity of others for a heck of a long time, and it's far from being the only one.

    What needs to be established is a simple rule, viz: that once a website owner has been notified of a fraudulent ad, it has 72 hours from receipt of notice to remove the material. Failure to do so means that at 72hours plus, the website owner will from then on be deemed to be in receipt of income from criminal activity, and as such is guilty of aiding and abetting the commission of a crime.

    It's good news for everyone that Martin Lewis has decided to take a stand on this where Facebook is concerned, because his name, image and reputation have been systematically traduced.

    He's not, of course, alone; as roddydogs says, it's amazing that not for mere days or even weeks, but actually for months, BBC TV's 'Dragons' Den' has featured in a major criminal deception whose success derives entirely from fraudulent ads on numerous 'legit' websites that link to fake websites operated by the criminals themselves.

    One such fake website and the 'Dragons Den' scam it is running, can be found here (NOTE: this IS a scam website; the fraudsters have taken the established web address of an American digital watch manufacturer and simply added a suffix, then represented the site as news media. It's one of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of similar fake news sites):

    http://bastilletime.com/den/

    Perhaps Mark Seddon's law firm (representing Martin Lewis) ought to be getting in touch with the BBC or even the Dragons themselves.

    Best of luck to Martin.

    * As an aside, it's been interesting to see the German media giant Axel Springer campaigning to outlaw Internet ad blockers on the grounds that a computer user who blocks an ad is actually interfering with the right of an individual or enterprise to trade.

    The German courts have thrown out Springer's nauseating attempts at every turn but it still hasn't given up.
  • edited 23 April 2018 at 6:22PM
    MagikGimpMagikGimp Forumite
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    edited 23 April 2018 at 6:22PM
    Martin should be equally concerned, perhaps even more so, that Microsoft are showing these ads on the main page that loads when you use their Edge Internet browser. This is certainly not a problem unique to Facebook.
    I don't know if they're still appearing but I've certainly had some appear recently. And I block ads! They're very convincing as they appear alongside regular articles (not off to one side, not marked with the advertising symbol as elsewhere, are sprinkled amongst other headlines) and look identical except for "Sponsored" being underneath them. As we already know, the scam articles look very good and they can easily be mistaken for a genuine online tabloid webpage. They have videos and quotes and everything. Because I block ads I was fooled for a bit until I realised the whole thing sounded pretty sketchy at best. I didn't know that Martin doesn't do online advertising but I'm not interested in BitCoin so I didn't take the scam's message any further.
    It seems somebody can afford all these horrible ads. Someone who has presumably done well out of crypto-currency!
  • tghe-retfordtghe-retford Forumite
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    Martin has pointed this out to The Guardian and Sky by tweet this morning...

    Bit awkward for them. :D
    He should also be pointing that out to Google AdSense as it is them that served up the advertisement (you can see the AdSense logo in the top right of the advertisement).

    There are potential fallouts and precedents that could be set from this case if Martin wins. All worldwide web services which are accessible in the United Kingdom will be legally responsible for everything posted and advertised on their website or service. What will likely happen is that websites will increase moderation for fear of defamation lawsuits and scammers and will also vet advertisers (as television and radio stations do as legally licensed broadcasters as failing to do so could ultimately result in the loss of your licence by Ofcom). Lower advertising revenue as a result will likely increase the likelihood of services having to paywall content and services to make up the shortfall. There are rumours abound with the recent scandal regarding privacy at Facebook of a paywall going up for some aspects of Facebook as a potential solution - that'll be far more likely if advertising revenue takes a hit.

    There are potential consequences for the principle of free speech (and no, that is not pro-scamming and not pro-defamation to preempt any strawmanning) and free to access websites and services if we are not careful that could come about as a result of this lawsuit.
  • MothballsWalletMothballsWallet Forumite
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    And what's worse is: what if any of the people placing these scam ads are driving their gains to ISIS?
    Always ask yourself one question: What would Gibbs do?

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  • nic_cnic_c Forumite
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    He should also be pointing that out to Google AdSense as it is them that served up the advertisement (you can see the AdSense logo in the top right of the advertisement).

    There are potential fallouts and precedents that could be set from this case if Martin wins. All worldwide web services which are accessible in the United Kingdom will be legally responsible for everything posted and advertised on their website or service. What will likely happen is that websites will increase moderation for fear of defamation lawsuits and scammers and will also vet advertisers (as television and radio stations do as legally licensed broadcasters as failing to do so could ultimately result in the loss of your licence by Ofcom). Lower advertising revenue as a result will likely increase the likelihood of services having to paywall content and services to make up the shortfall. There are rumours abound with the recent scandal regarding privacy at Facebook of a paywall going up for some aspects of Facebook as a potential solution - that'll be far more likely if advertising revenue takes a hit.

    There are potential consequences for the principle of free speech (and no, that is not pro-scamming and not pro-defamation to preempt any strawmanning) and free to access websites and services if we are not careful that could come about as a result of this lawsuit.

    More vetting does not necessarily mean lower ad revenues, especially since having ads vetted may make consumers more likely to trust and interact with them if there is some integrity - you are more likely to click an ad on a website you trust than one you don't and if the website states they vet all ads then you would get higher click throughs and so be able to charge more.
  • fun4everyonefun4everyone Forumite
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    There are potential fallouts and precedents that could be set from this case if Martin wins. All worldwide web services which are accessible in the United Kingdom will be legally responsible for everything posted and advertised on their website or service.

    giphy.gif
  • edited 24 April 2018 at 12:45PM
    boatmanboatman Forumite
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    edited 24 April 2018 at 12:45PM
    Here is another ad, not facebook though.
  • RobbosevenRobboseven Forumite
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    You may want to sue Google too. Ads for "Finance Expert 247" pop up all over the place using Google Ads complete with a photo and stating it's your new business
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  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
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    Thanks for all the notes above. The bizarre thing is programmatica ads means as the story of me suing facebook got bigger, more of these ads came out of the woodwork. I'm talkign with my legal team about how to approach them.

    Facebook though has been doign it more and logner and on notice far more than the rest.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • CaparnCaparn Forumite
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    Can I sue Facebook if I buy whatever the advert was for because I purchased it in the safe knowledge that Martin Lewis was promoting it?
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