Facebook is out of control, says Martin Lewis before talks on scam ads

Martin Lewis
Martin Lewis

Martin Lewis has urged Facebook to take responsibility for publishing thousands of scam ads he said have led to vulnerable people being ripped off.

Arriving at the social media giant's London offices for a meeting after recently launching a legal battle, he described it as "an international institution that is out of control".

The MoneySavingExpert.com founder previously said he had decided to sue Facebook for defamation in a personal capacity in a ground-breaking lawsuit, following a raft of scam ads featuring his picture.

The consumer champion said he would not be charmed into pulling back on his campaign against fake ads, adding that any money he is awarded in a legal fight would be donated to anti-scam charities.

Ahead of the "without prejudice" meeting, which he said would be with the vice president of Facebook Europe, he told of his determination to hold the social networking organisation to account.

He said: "What I want to happen is Facebook takes responsibility for the thousands of scam ads it's published about me and the many thousand more scam ads it's published about other people which have hurt vulnerable people, lost them money, seen them being ripped off and that company there (Facebook) is responsible. It has been paid to publish these adverts."

He called for Facebook to put "proper procedures in place so that these scam adverts are never published" rather than placing the onus on people to report the fake ads.

He said individuals who had lost money should be compensated.

He added: "We are not here to be cuddled up to and charmed. We are here to see real change happening.

"Facebook is an international institution that is out of control. It's not a bad product, it helps many people. They need to regain control and if they do I want to help it to thrive because it does a good thing. I want to make Facebook better, not Facebook worse."

Mr Lewis previously said he had decided to issue High Court proceedings in an individual capacity for a campaigning defamation lawsuit against Facebook.

He has said the legal action was the result of months of frustration with scammers piggybacking on his reputation and preying on Facebook users with scams.

He said people have handed over thousands of pounds in good faith, only to find the adverts have nothing to do with him.

He said: "There are customers who have lost a lot of money. Some of them won't even talk to me because they've seen my face on the advert and think it's me who has scammed them - it's an absolute disgrace."

Mr Lewis has said he does not do adverts.