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Miriam O'Callaghan files High Court case against Facebook

The case relates to false advertisements featuring the presenter appearing on the platform.

Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

JOURNALIST AND PRESENTER Miriam O’Callaghan has filed High Court proceedings against Facebook.

O’Callaghan told the Sunday Times newspaper in January that she was planning to sue the social media giant, alleging that fake advertisements using her name and photo were being promoted on the platform. 

These advertisements featured false adverts for a face cream, and her solicitor had been complaining to Facebook about the ads since last June, she said.

Callers into the RTÉ Radio One’s Liveline with Joe Duffy last summer said they’d seen the advert and had bought the product believing it had been endorsed by O’Callaghan. 

The case was filed by O’Callaghan on Friday, and she is being represented by solicitor Paul Tweed. There is no date as of yet for when the case will be heard before the court.

It’s understood the presenter is seeking damages and requesting that all adverts featuring her that are like the ones that have been appearing on the platform be banned. 

Tweed told TheJournal.ie: “Notwithstanding assurances received from Facebook, these fake advertisements continue to pop up and are a major cause for concern for Miriam, and also for other clients.

“This will now have to be determined by the courts.”

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A Facebook spokesperson told TheJournal.ie that it does not comment on legal action, but advised of its previous statement in this matter.

The spokesperson said: “Since Miriam raised this issue, we have removed a large volume of false ads featuring Miriam as well as associated pages and ad accounts and we will continue to remove these ads. We are working hard to enhance our efforts to detect and keep this kind of activity off our platform, including increasing our safety, security and review team to 30,000 people this year.”

It’s understood that the social media platform has also removed a large volume of adverts on the foot of further investigations into such practices. Facebook also urges people to flag adverts that they believe may violate its policies or don’t belong on its platforms. 

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Sean Murray

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