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A billionaire in Qatar named Wissam Al Mana is filing a lawsuit against social media giant Facebook after crypto-based advertisements on its platform used his picture to promote their products.
Facebook Heads to Court… Again
Al Mana has filed his suit in a Dublin court, where the European headquarters of Facebook is located. He alleges that Facebook did nothing to prevent the use of his image in phony crypto advertisements. He also says he never gave his permission for his likeness to be used.
This is something that Facebook has been accused of in the past. Dutch Millionaire John de Mol, for example (the creator of the popular reality series “Big Brother”) sued Facebook in late 2019 and alleges the company knew phony bitcoin ads were using his picture without his permission. He claims that while he told Facebook repeatedly about what was going on and asked for staff members’ help in getting the ads to stop, the company failed to take any serious action.
John states that this has resulted in several people falling for the scams and losing funds. He does not want to be considered responsible given that his likeness was used.
In a statement, de Mol explained:
After three months of negotiating, it has become clear to me that it is impossible to come to an agreement with Facebook on the misleading bitcoin advertisements. While the company seemed to be cooperating, it was merely smokescreen that concealed its reluctance to put in place the desired measures in a timely and correct manner.
Sadly, a judge did not take de Mol’s side in the case, eventually deciding that Facebook and de Mol must work out their problems without assistance. It is unknown at the time of writing if these fake crypto advertisements have continued or ceased.
Al Mana is being represented by prominent lawyer Paul Tweed, who has assisted several high-profile and overseas clients such as Djibouti president Ismail Omar Guelleh and Qatari critic Ghanem Nuseibeh. Both have entered similar lawsuits against Facebook in the past. Tweed has also represented several notable celebrities such as Nicolas Cage, Jennifer Lopez and Harrison Ford in defamation lawsuits that occurred in the Dublin area.
A Man Who’s Done This Before
Tweed commented that while Facebook is predominantly a U.S. company, he felt filing the suit in a European nation gave his client a better chance at winning considering free speech regulations are not as open overseas as they are in America.
The crypto space is wrought with cases of companies using the faces of celebrities without permission to promote certain products and services. One of the biggest ones in recent years was Centra Tech, which allegedly used the likenesses of rapper DJ Khaled and boxer Floyd Mayweather without their permission to promote its initial coin offering (ICO).