A man is seeking permission to launch a class-action lawsuit against Facebook in the wake of the most recent wave of sexual misconduct allegations in Quebec on social networks.
The request to authorize a class action was filed Tuesday in Quebec Superior Court in Montreal.
The applicant is identified only by the initials C.D. He claims to have a name so common in Quebec that it is impossible to know if he is the target of an online allegation. No details or context is associated with the name.
The application for the class action, which was obtained by the Canadian Press, states the man wants to file the lawsuit on behalf of all people whose reputations have been allegedly damaged as a result of the association of their names or details that allow them to be identified with defamatory statements on social media networks.
In the application, he cites “Say His Name” and “Victims Voices” pages and any other page on a social media platform that lets users anonymously post allegations of harassment or sexual assault.
C. D. says he saw his name on the “Say His Name” page on Facebook.
He asked Facebook to remove the post, but nothing has been done yet, according to C.D.
In a statement issued by the law firm that is leading the action, Calex Legal, it is specified that “the debate underlying this potential class action is in no way intended to condemn the victims of sexual assault and the denunciations that are made within the framework of the current provisions of the law.”
Alessandra Esposito Chartrand said the debate before the court is not to question such denunciations but rather to determine what Facebook’s responsibility is when defamatory allegations are made anonymously.
The application criticizes Facebook for not having acted to stop these publications and alleges the social media giant was therefore negligent and civilly liable.
— With files from Global News’ Kalina Laframboise