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Facebook removes 'celeb-bait' sponsored posts featuring Ryan Tubridy

The sponsored posts linked to a page on the Amazon online marketplace.

Updated Oct 23rd 2019, 9:50 AM

FACEBOOK HAS CONFIRMED it removed a number of sponsored posts that featured presenter Ryan Tubridy.

The posts, which were being served to the timelines of Irish users, featured images from Tubridy’s 2016 interview with broadcaster Graham Norton on the Late Late Show.

Each of the posts seen by TheJournal.ie contained some variation of the headline: ‘Presenter questions his career after being upstaged live on TV.’ 

The posts contained links to online marketplace Amazon. When clicked on, one of the posts directed users to a page on the site where presenter Michael Parkinson’s autobiography could be purchased. 

RTÉ said that it had “raised this issue with Facebook”.

A spokesperson for Facebook told TheJournal.ie that these ads have now been removed.

“We take the issue of celeb-bait extremely seriously. It’s important to us that ads on Facebook are useful to people and not used to promote deceptive behaviour, including misusing images or text of public figures to scam people,” they said.

We’ve put significant resources into to tackling these ads and we’re improving the technologies used to detect and remove such ads. We continue to encourage people to report this kind of behaviour by tapping the three dots in the top right corner of the ad and selecting ‘Report Ad’. 

Earlier this year Tubridy’s RTÉ colleague Miriam O’Callaghan launched a High Court action against Facebook over ‘scam product’ ads.

The broadcaster claimed that she was defamed in a series of “false” and “malicious” adverts containing her image and name. The High Court heard that O’Callaghan intends to seek damages over the advertisements that first appeared on social media platforms Facebook and Instagram in May 2018.

The adverts contained various headlines wrongly suggesting that O’Callaghan had left her job with RTÉ’s Prime Time.

The court heard O’Callaghan had “nothing to do” with the adverts, which were linked to offers for skin care products. The case is ongoing.

Comments are closed due to active court proceedings.

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