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Facebook Settles Qatari Businessman’s ‘Fake Ads’ Suit

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Facebook Settles Qatari Businessman's 'Fake Ads' Suit

(CTN News) – The legal dispute between Facebook and Wissam Al Mana, a Qatari businessman based in the UK, regarding the publication of false advertisements featuring his name and image on the social media platform has been resolved in the High Court. Al Mana had filed a lawsuit in the Irish courts, claiming that the ads were published by unknown individuals using Facebook’s advertising tool.

Although the ads were removed from the platform, Al Mana’s senior counsel, Paul O’Higgins, announced on Thursday that the parties had reached a settlement, but the terms have not yet been finalized in writing.

Given the circumstances, the legal representative requested a postponement of a few weeks to facilitate the execution of the agreement.

Representing Facebook, Paul Gardiner SC expressed consent for the matter to be rescheduled, emphasizing that the settlement pertaining to the entire proceedings will be concluded.

No specific information regarding the settlement was disclosed during the public court session.

A preliminary issue related to the case, which was anticipated to span three days, was scheduled for a hearing in front of Mr Justice Mark Sanfey.

The judge consented to adjourn the matter to an early December date.

Mr Al Mana holds the position of executive director at the Al Mana Group, a conglomerate that encompasses over 50 companies operating in various sectors such as property, technology, media, entertainment, and retail. More than 3,000 individuals are employed by the group.

In 2012, he entered into matrimony with the renowned pop star Janet Jackson; however, the couple separated in 2017.

The businessman took legal action, alleging that the advertisements contained a fabricated news article with sensational headlines and falsely associated him with a Facebook cryptocurrency auto-trading program called Bitcoin Trader, despite his lack of involvement.

Although the ads were taken down after complaints were made on his behalf, he remained concerned about the potential for future false advertisements using his name and image.

Mr. Al Mana planned to sue Facebook Ireland Ltd,

Now known as Meta, and the individuals responsible for the ads, claiming defamation and malicious falsehood.

During a court hearing on Thursday, Mr. Al Mana’s legal team requested an order that would compel Facebook to provide information that could help identify the unidentified individuals behind the ads. This information would enable him to take legal action against them.

He was in search of the information which consisted of their names and addresses, emails and phone numbers, particulars regarding the advertiser’s IP addresses, payment methods and billing address, and their business names.

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