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Facebook unveils new anti-spam ad reporting tool

9th August 2019

In response to a lawsuit from Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis, Facebook is releasing new tools to protect users in the UK.

Despite Facebook’s reviewing process, some fake and malicious adverts still appear on people's newsfeed.

Last year, Martin Lewis, who is best known for his expert consumer advice and cost-cutting tips, started a lawsuit against Facebook for their failure to remove fake adverts, that featured his face and name. He stated that any money he made from the lawsuit would be donated to charities who help combat fraud and hoped the lawsuit would “partially” act as a publicity stunt. 

In April 2018, Mark Lewis said: “Facebook is not above the law. It cannot hide outside the UK and think that it is untouchable.” 

"[Facebook] is facilitating scams on a constant basis, and in a morally repugnant way. If Mark Zuckerberg wants to be the champion of moral causes, then he needs to stop his company doing this.” 

However, earlier this year, Martin Lewis dropped his case against Facebook, after it promised to implement a new scam ad reporting tool - something which Facebook has released this week. 

The new tool allows users to submit detailed feedback on dodgy-looking adverts. The adverts will then be checked by a “new, dedicated, specially trained internal operation team who will handle these reports, and review and takedown violating ads”, according to Facebook.

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As part of the deal, Facebook also agreed to donate £3 million to set up a Citizen’s Advice Scams Action (CASA) service, which would provide additional information and support on scams to people in the UK.

According to TechCrunch, CASA will provide “one-to-one help to those worried they’re being scammed or who have already lost money as a result of fake ads”. 

Steve Hatch, vice president for Northern Europe at Facebook, said scam ads are “an industry-wide problem’” caused by criminals and have “no place on Facebook”.

“Through our work with Martin Lewis, we’re taking a market-leading position and our new reporting tool and dedicated team are important steps to stop the misuse of our platform,” he explained.

“Prevention is also key. Our £3 million donation to Citizens Advice will not only help those who have been impacted by scammers but raise awareness of how to avoid scams too. At a global level, we’ve tripled the size of our safety and security team to 30,000 people and continue to invest heavily in removing bad content from our platform.”

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