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Ben Fogle hits out at Facebook owner Meta after his name is used in online charity scam

Ben Fogle has attacked Facebook owner Meta for his slow response to an online charity scam bearing his name

Ben Fogle lashes out at Facebook owner Meta after his name was used in online charity scam

  • Ben Fogle was made aware of the problem by We Care, a dog charity in Sri Lanka
  • Fogle doesn’t use Facebook, but set up an account to deter cheaters
  • Meta was historically slow in removing fake accounts on its platform
  • Fogle instead had to call the police or hire a private investigator for fake pages
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Ben Fogle has attacked Facebook owner Meta for his slow response to an online charity scam using his name.

The TV presenter was pointed out to the problem by We Care, a Sri Lanka-based dog charity he had visited in 2013 for his Channel 5 show New Lives In The Wild.

The organization expressed concern after someone unknowingly sent a message to the fake Facebook account set up in her name, with Mr. Fogle’s visit, and was then asked for a donation through a personal PayPal account.

Fogle, 48, who does not personally use Facebook but has an official credit account in his name to deter cheaters, posted his complaint on Instagram, which is also owned by Meta.

It prompted a Meta employee to get in touch and help remove the scam.

Ben Fogle has attacked Facebook owner Meta for his slow response to an online charity scam bearing his name

Last night, a Meta spokesperson said: 'The security of our community is important to us and it is against our rules for accounts to impersonate someone else' (file image)

Last night, a Meta spokesperson said: ‘The security of our community is important to us and it is against our rules for accounts to impersonate someone else’ (file image)

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But Fogle told The Mail on Sunday: “There are many fake accounts that I have tried to close over the years and it has taken a very long time to close them all.

“They’ve been used for a variety of things – people have contacted me saying I’ve invited them to dinner and they’ve even appeared at restaurants.”

He added that Meta has been historically slow in taking down fake accounts, to the point where he resorted to taking matters into his own hands and calling in the police.

He also once hired a team of private investigators to investigate a Twitter account that sent “vile and disgusting” death and rape threats to his 11-year-old daughter, after alleging that both the social media giant and the police had not intervened.

It was discovered that the account was the product of a sophisticated ‘bot’ – software designed to send automated spam messages.

Despite admitting he wasn’t “great at tech,” Fogle said he couldn’t understand why the algorithms used by social networks can’t be used to remove fake accounts from other bots.

He said, ‘You can certainly put bone to bone. I have no idea how they can’t put an end to these fake accounts much faster than they do.

“I think that if Meta and some of the other social media networks want to get people like me to share and use their media, they will have to take a long look at how accounts are set up and also how these bot factories work. .’

Last night, a Meta spokesperson said: “The safety of our community is important to us and it is against our rules for accounts to impersonate someone else.

“We are taking a hard line against this activity, and by the first quarter of 2022 we have disabled more than 1.6 billion fake accounts on Facebook.

“We have committed significant resources to tackling scams with a global safety and security team of more than 40,000 people and invested in AI and machine learning to keep everyone who uses our platforms safe.

“While no enforcement is perfect, we continue to invest in new technologies and methods to stop scams and the people behind them.”

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