February 27, 2018

French baker wins fight over fake Facebook page

Facebook, members


A French baker won his day in court against Facebook on Tuesday after a user created a fake page about his bakery.

The lawyer for the 53-year-old baker told AFP that a court in Clermont-Ferrand in central France has ordered the US internet giant to hand over the details about the user suspected of identity thief and to cancel the account.



“It’s very good news knowing that the demands of my client have been approved” by the court, said Lena Borie-Belcour.

Once informed of the court’s decision Facebook has 72 hours to hand over the data.

It was back in May that friends and clients of baker Philippe Seramy told him that there was a fake page on Facebook about his bakery. Seramy himself was not on the social network.

“The page showed disgusting photos of an insalubrious nature, supposedly of the bakery site. The author (of the page) also amused himself making sarcastic comments,” said Borie-Belcour.

Seramy’s bakery is located in Bourg Lastic, a town of just 800 inhabitants with two bakeries, so the Facebook page could potentially seriously harm his business, the lawyer added.

Seramy first complained to Facebook France in June to remove the page but it took until late November and contacting Facebook’s European headquarters in Dublin to make the page “currently inaccessible”.

“That means the page could be reactivated tomorrow or that it is still accessible to a community of subscribers to the page. The decison of the court today will prevent all that in demanding the definitive removal of this account,” said Borie-Belcour.

The matter will also be referred for possible criminal prosecution for identity theft.

Seramy’s lawyer said the court has also ordered the payment of 2,000 euros in damages and 2,500 euros for legal expenses by Facebook.

But the baker apparently doesn’t hold a grudge.

Seramy is now a Facebook user with a page truly promoting his bakery.