After an employee blew the whistle on Cambrige Analytica, the firm that worked on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign- Facebook found itself in one of the biggest crisis since its onset in 2004.
Since the disclosure that the personal data of 50 million American users were obtained from Facebook without the user’s consent, Facebook has been named in a proposed class-action lawsuit accusing it of negligence and it has lost nearly.
Last weekend, Mr Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook finally testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and promised a lot of changes, issued an almost apology and assured that their users would feel safer about their data very soon.
Barely a week later, Facebook finds a groundbreaking lawsuit on its back- adding fuel to its steadily unraveling nightmare.
Popular British consumer campaigner and the founder of MoneySavingExpert.com is currently suing Facebook for Defamation.
He is due to lodge his papers at the high court on Monday 23rd April, and is seeking exemplary damages in order to shake Facebook up enough to make necessary changes to their privacy. According to Lewis, atleast fifty fake advertisements were published on Facebook bearing his name and photograph with endorsements he had not made in order to scam people off money.
Solicitor Mark Lewis of Seddons, leading the lawsuit, said “Exemplary damages are being sought. This means we will ask the court to ensure they are substantial enough that Facebook can’t simply see paying out damages as just the ‘cost of business’ and carry on regardless.”
These adverts recommend schemes with titles such as bitcoin code and cloud trader, which are fronts for binary trading firms outside EU. Binary trading scams cause people to lose heavy sums of money and comes highly disapproved by the Financial Conduct Authority.
As a result, Lewis’ reputation is getting heavily affected. His customers are not trusting him anymore, and atleast 5 people message him everyday saying ‘I’ve just seen your Bitcoin ad and wanted to check it.’
Lewis cant help but wonder if that many people got through to him, how many people have been scammed using his name. He says he has filed the lawsuit because he does not use adverts and he had repeatedly mentioned that to Facebook, even then Facebook kept publishing the ads and wait for Lewis to report them once the damage has been done.
Worst part is, even after reporting sometimes many posts have been left up for weeks till they are taken down and a new, identical campaign starts off yet again.
Lewis chose to take this fight up because he knows he was not the only person this had happened to. He plans to give the savings to an NGO and actually hopes that this lawsuit pushes Facebook to be more responsible in the future and bring about a change.
The question is, will this lawsuit be the beginning of the end for Mark Zuckerber’s enterprise or will Facebook truly begin to listen to its users and protect their data?