Last year, consumer advice personality Martin Lewis filed a defamation lawsuit against Facebook regarding scam advertisements on the platform that used his likeness. However, he withdrew the suit when Facebook announced it would add a scam reporting feature and help fund a scam advice and prevention service. Finally, Facebook rolled out these long-promised features this week.
For his part, Lewis expressed satisfaction with the new measures, noting that they will help vulnerable users avoid falling victim to fraud.
“These initiatives, which are available from today, are crucial, as scam ads can have devastating consequences,” he said. “The adverts, placed by criminals, often use fake celebrity images or endorsements to dupe people into investing in fake ‘get rich quick’ schemes, buying diet pills and more. They can lead to many people being conned out of their cash — in the case below a man in his 80s lost almost £50,000 — and have a serious impact on people’s mental health and self-esteem.”
For now, these features are only available in the UK, though Facebook said it will explore expanding them worldwide. With all of Facebook’s legal headaches here in the U.S., don’t be surprised to see these tools come across the Atlantic sooner rather than later.
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