Meta Apologizes to Qatari Billionaire Al Mana for Crypto Scam Ads

A well-known Qatari businessman, Wissam Al Mana, has received a public apology from tech giant Meta as part of a settlement concerning crypto scam ads that utilized his likeness.

In a Dublin court session on Friday, Meta’s legal team acknowledged the existence of “false, misleading, and defamatory” ads, published on Facebook in 2019 by malicious third parties without al Mana’s authorization or awareness.

The details of the settlement, after a three-year legal battle, are undisclosed. Nevertheless, Meta has committed to implementing “robust measures” to prevent similar crypto scam ads in the future.

Reported by the Financial Times, the lengthy and expensive court dispute against the tech giant is unusual. Al Mana, a prominent figure in Qatar and involved in managing the Al-Mana Group—responsible for distributing renowned car and luxury brands such as Hermès—has persistently pursued the case.

Although Al Mana’s legal team succeeded in getting the ads removed, they highlighted that there was no hindrance to the perpetrators from initiating new misleading ads. he billionaire’s legal team said that subsequent fake ads appeared in 2019, two years after al Mana first filed complaints, causing damage to his reputation, distress, and embarrassment.

Meta acknowledged the harm caused to Mr. Al Mana, expressing sincere and unequivocal regret for the situation. However, on Thursday, Al Mana’s legal representatives requested the company to disclose identifying information about the purchasers of these crypto scam ads, including their IP addresses, names, and addresses.

In a similar vein tech giant Google found itself obligated to provide akin details to Irish politician Michael Martin. He sought legal action against unauthorized cryptocurrency scam ads that misused his image, aligning with others’ efforts to tackle misleading advertisements.

Martin emphasized the importance of citizens being able to request and receive information about the individuals behind these deceitful schemes, highlighting the significance of transparency in such matters.

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