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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Garcia

ISIS Flag Causes Facebook Lawsuit

In an unfortunate series of a events, one of the firm's new clients is the owner of a successful online business run largely through a Facebook business page that was hacked by an unknown cyber criminal. The hacker locked our client out of her account and replaced her profile picture with ISIS flag propaganda prompting Facebook to immediately deactivate her personal Facebook account. The problem? Her business account, though still visible, is now totally inaccessible by our client, and she is unable to communicate with or service her customers. Our client attempted to appeal the account deactivation and explain the situation to Facebook, but she received an automated response that her account had been "reviewed," that she was in violation of Facebook's Community Standards, and that her account was permanently deactivated. Despite attempting to contact representatives of Facebook in a multitude of ways, our client has been met with silence. Though this matter could likely be resolved with a phone call to the right person, it turns out, Facebook makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for consumers to communicate with the social media giant directly. With our client losing money each day that she cannot access her account, as a last ditch effort we initiated a lawsuit and are seeking a temporary restraining order to get Facebook's attention. To make matters worse, ordinarily claims brought against Facebook must be heard in the State of California due to the language of Facebook's Terms of Use, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, California state courts are restricting their civil dockets, hindering our client's ability to obtain quick relief there. With a little outside-the-box thinking, we decided to bring the lawsuit in Colorado where the courts are operating with greater capacity than in California in hopes of more rapidly getting Facebook's attention. Though we are hopeful the matter can be resolved once Facebook's general counsel reads the Complaint, we are prepared to seek immediate relief from the Colorado courts in the coming days. For more information about the case, see the publicly-available Complaint filed in the El Paso County District Court, State of Colorado, under the following caption: Marshall v. Facebook, Inc., Case No. 2020CV30853.

UPDATE: Ms. Marshall was able to regain access to her Facebook page by contacting her advertising point-of-contact within Facebook. Though we were finally able to get a hold of Facebook's lawyers through the lawsuit (the intended result), because there was no need to continue the lawsuit, it was dismissed.

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