Skip to: Navigation | Content | Footer


Last-chance saloon?

James Evelegh's editorial from this week's edition of InPubWeekly.

James Evelegh

Posted on: 26 April 2018


David Mellor once famously warned the press that it was "drinking in the last-chance saloon". I’m beginning to wonder whether Facebook might soon be joining them at the bar.

Money saving expert and consumer champion Martin Lewis is suing Facebook for exemplary damages in the High Court.

Hearing him talk on Radio 4, he was brim-full of righteous indignation. He never does adverts, yet fraudulent ads with his image on them keep popping up on Facebook, thereby tarnishing his reputation and luring trusting souls into rip-off schemes.

He has complained, often, but to no avail: “It is consistent, it is repeated. What is particularly pernicious about Facebook is that it says the onus is on me, so I have spent time and effort and stress repeatedly to have them taken down.

“It is facilitating scams on a constant basis in a morally repugnant way. If Mark Zuckerburg wants to be the champion of moral causes, then he needs to stop his company doing this.”

“No newspaper would have run these adverts.”

According to Lewis’s solicitor, “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.”

Facebook has built its fortune on extremely light touch self-regulation, harvesting enormous amounts of personal data, allowing widespread access to it, and then being slow to react to its misuse.

Get-rich-quick scammers and dark-souled trolls have never had it so good.

Yet, a backlash is forming. The data-conscious EU looks set to get involved, as does the US congress. And, now, Martin Lewis, an extremely credible litigant, has got them in his sights. It’s hard to see him not winning his case. Good luck to him.

About James Evelegh
(Details last updated: 21 March 2018)

James Evelegh is the editor of InPublishing. Previous roles have included circulation consultant, group circulation manager at Centaur Media and circulation manager at DMG Trinity.

Tel: 01322 865 984

Email: Send a message to this author


Twitter: @InPublishing

comments powered by Disqus

Most read on InPublishing

These are the most read stories on the InPublishing website over the last 14 days, in order from the top.


Platforms and Publishers

Charlie Beckett
Posted on: 22 May 2018

GDPR: 5 minutes with… Hellen Beveridge

Hellen Beveridge
Posted on: 9 May 2018

The reader-revenue revolution is a reality

Peter Houston
Posted on: 22 May 2018

People aren’t thick

James Evelegh
Posted on: 17 May 2018

Data-led journalism

Nick Turner
Posted on: 22 May 2018

Get out of the office and talk to people

Steve Dyson
Posted on: 22 May 2018

Off The Page

David Hepworth
Posted on: 27 March 2018

Kickaround: a grown-up mag for kids

Alan Geere
Posted on: 4 April 2018

This list is based on data from Google Analytics, and is refreshed every 24 hours. (Last updated: 25/05/2018 05:58)

Find out more about

Featured job

Digital Marketing Manager
Salary: £££ highly competitive salary, according to experience
The Chelsea Magazine Company

Featured in InPublishing Jobs

InPub Weekly: Sign-up

Click here to sign up for our free weekly email newsletter:

Sign up now!

Magazine registration

Publishing Partners Guide