Houston Woman Sues Facebook Over Revenge Porn Account

Photo by Maria Elena

Meryem Ali got a call from her cousin.

"Meryem, what is up with you and Facebook?" her cousin asked in December 2013.

Ali said she hadn't logged onto the site in months.

"You need to get home and look at it," her cousin told her, "because someone's acting like it's you, and it's not you."

Ali soon found a Facebook profile of her filled with sexual, doctored photos of her, including a photo of her performing a sex act. She asked Facebook to delete the fake profile, then she asked some more. Finally, the social network did so in April.

That's the story David Altenbern, Ali's lawyer, told Hair Balls in explaining the lawsuit Ali is bringing against Facebook and a man she had a shortlived relationship with.

According to Altenbern, Ali, who is from Houston, went to Chicago with her family approximately five years ago when she met Adeel Shah Khan. Altenbern said his client made two more trips to Illinois thereafter, during which she met up with Khan, before ultimately deciding she wanted no more of the relationship.

Then the Facebook profile popped up in December 2013. A Houston Police Department subpoena found Khan to be the man behind the catfish of sorts.

Now, Ali is suing Facebook $123 million for its alleged inability to protect her privacy and failure to act promptly.

"Every guy she sees in a grocery store that smiles at her...she doesn't know if they've seen it," Altenbern said.

Ali is suing Khan in the suit, too, but Facebook has the fatter wallet.

Ali is asking for the social network to pay her ten cents per each user it has -- all 1.23 billion.


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9 comments
H Newcomb
H Newcomb

I didn't either, but easily could have during any of my searches for particular sorts of neighbors (fellow Houstonians) while they were up. Pointless to survey all FB users and determine who did and who did not see them, if not impossible. And how can it be determined that anyone who did see them did or did not save the image and repost it to some other, less civil sharing site (which would make them liable for more than $0.10, I would think).

Nicki Stacy
Nicki Stacy

Multiple people have had fake accounts posted. This would be the angle for a class action if FB failed to delete fraudulent accounts in a reasonable amount of time.

H Newcomb
H Newcomb

How can it be a class action suit if the actor involved was only targeting this one person? Those require multiple injured parties seeking relief, correct?

H Newcomb
H Newcomb

Not relevant. Were they negligent, and so liable?

Nicki Stacy
Nicki Stacy

Really? If she "cared" so much it would be class action, not trying to net her a windfall. Go after the guy? Yes. She has a point that fb should have acted quicker, if the details of her story are true. But her price tag? Ridiculous. Also take away .10 from the total, I have never heard of her.

Tarus Burrell
Tarus Burrell

Subtract .10. from her price tag, I haven't seen those pictures.

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