Candidate's lawsuit blames Facebook for failed campaign to oust Congressman John Dingell
Dearborn attorney Majed Moughni, a Republican who sought to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. John Dingell in last year's election, is blaming Facebook for his failed campaign.
In a 10-page lawsuit filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, Moughni claims his Facebook page was yanked by the site on June 10, blowing his chances of winning.
"In an attempt to overthrow the Dingell Dynasty, (I) devised a plan to use Facebook to accumulate thousands of friends, who in turn would spread the message and overseat (sic) the longest-serving member of Congress," the suit states.
A Facebook spokesman told the Detroit News that Moughni's account was shut down by a system that "flags suspicious or anomalous behavior.'' The spokesman said the system is designed to guard against harassing behavior, such as sending friend requests to people the user doesn't know or sending large numbers of messages to people who aren't the user's friends on Facebook.
Moughni finished fourth in the Republican primary last August in the 15th District race for the U.S. House, getting just 4 percent of the vote. Republican Rob Steele emerged the victor in the GOP primary but ultimately fell to the longtime incumbent in November.
The 15th District includes Ann Arbor.
Moughni says his lawsuit is serious and was filed to address "the lack of due process at Facebook," but bloggers around the net already are starting to make light of his case.
"I once sat on a plane that was overseated, but I didn't know one could actually do that to a member of Congress," Chris Matyszczyk writes in a piece posted to cnet.com on Thursday.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529.