Facebook has had a tough month dealing with legislation from its own users. The site’s legal woes continued this week as Anthony Ditirro, a Facebook user, filed a class-action lawsuit against the site for allegedly “liking” the Facebook page for the USA Today on his behalf. Ditirro says he never liked the newspaper’s page, and never even visited it. Ditirro wants the site to pay out $750 to all users who have had their likeness used in Facebook advertising.
“[Facebook] knowingly used [Ditirro]’s likeness and Facebook profile to advertise to the general public that [Ditirro] endorsed USA Today without [Ditirro’s] permission,” Ditirro’s complaint read.
Facebook has said that Ditirro’s case is “without merit,” though if his likeness has truly been used promotionally and he has not actually endorsed the USA Today, he could make some legal headway against the site. Ditirro has wisely said that he does not read the USA Today, and therefore does not endorse it. This means that, if Facebook is using his image as an endorsement, it could be violating privacy and publicity laws.
Though this lawsuit doesn’t appear to be strong on its face, if Ditirro can prove that Facebook put his name and likeness next to the USA Today without him ever having done anything himself, he may be able to achieve a legal victory that could have far-reaching implications for the site.