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Chicago man sues over disparaging post on Facebook group about dating

Chicago man sues over posts in Facebook dating group
Chicago man sues over posts in Facebook dating group 02:21

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A Chicago man is suing after his name and photo were included in a disparaging post on a popular Facebook group called, "Are We Dating the Same Guy?"

There are several Facebook "Are We Dating the Same Guy?" Facebook groups – including one that is local to Chicago/Naperville/Elgin. Nikko D'Ambrosio said the Facebook group's local chapter has ruined his reputation – and he is hoping a new Illinois law will help.

Filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, D'Ambrioso's lawsuit names dozens of women, one defendant's male relative, and several tech companies after posts started circulating in the Facebook group with his name, photo, and harassing text messages he reportedly sent to women.

Many of the defendants in this lawsuit are moderators for the Facebook page -- though one woman told us she is not sure if she's listed on the Chicago chapter, and says she is no longer active in the groups.

D'Ambrosio's attorneys liken his reputation now to a digital scarlet letter. They want Facebook and Meta to intervene and provide strict moderation.

"We've been working on this for several months. We've tried everything but sue these people. We tried sending them registered letters, sending them cease-and-desist letters - to no avail," said attorney Daniel Nikolic, "and ultimately. we had to go take this recourse because our hand was forced, and it wouldn't take down these posts."

D'Ambrosio's attorneys deny their client sent the messages – and added that even if he did, the content would be protected under the First Amendment as free speech.

However, free speech is the very issue that CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller pointed out might be a problem for D'Ambrosio.

"It's not unusual for parties who feel that they are wronged to file a lawsuit. That's what this whole system is about," Miller said. "So the fact that they're taking this particular level is unique, it's interesting - and it'll be complicated."

D'Ambrosio's attorneys hope a new Illinois anti-doxing law – which went into effect Jan. 1 - could bolster the case, which they see as the first of its kind. The attorneys are now fielding hundreds of calls from other men who have seen their personal information attached to similar forums.

"Our client's a victim. He's a victim on this matter," said plaintiff's attorney Marc Trent, "and we want to stop there from being there being additional victims in the future."

We reached out to Facebook for comment on this suit, but had not heard back late Wednesday.

D'Ambrosio's first hearing is scheduled for March 11 at 9 a.m.

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