A Syrian refugee who was headbutted, pushed to the ground and then had water poured on his face by a bully is set to sue Facebook for allowing Tommy Robinson to spread false accusations about him on his page.
In the highly unusual case, Lawyers acting on behalf of 16-year-old Jamal claim the social media giant allowed the far-Right Tommy Robinson to make a series of poisonous rants about Jamal.
They claim the founder of the EDL was allowed to make these false accusations because the company profits from his popularity, claiming the social media giant was ‘fully aware of the reckless and pernicious nature’ of Robinson’s videos and has ‘profited from defamation’.
The case was brought forward after Robinson made several claims against the 16-year-old, including accusing him of attacking girls at his school.
Footage of Jamal being attacked emerged two months ago and showed the 16-year-old being headbutted and thrown to the ground before his attacker threatened to “drown” him by pouring a bottle of water over his face as other pupils watched on.
The footage quickly went viral across social media, with many showing their sympathy towards the victim, But Robinson quickly poured scorn on the sympathy shown to Jamal claiming Jamal was not innocent and had previously attacked girls at the school.
In one Facebook video, Robinson, 36, said: ‘A young girl was beaten badly by Muslim girls. While those Muslim girls were beating her up, Jamal was involved in kicking and biting her. She was bitten, she was black and blue.’
He added: ‘He’s not innocent and he violently attacks young English girls at school. He beat the s*** out of an English kid.’
Robinson even went as far as claiming that the case he was talking about even went to court, which later also turned out to be untrue after a spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said they were not aware of any such reports, and Robinson later admitted he had been duped.
Robinson quickly deleted some of the videos, which garnered over a million views, after admitting “I have been completely had, how embarrassing, man.”
Jamal’s lawyers, Tasnime Akunjee, of Farooq Bajwa and Co Solicitors in London, said: ‘Facebook was fully aware of the reckless and pernicious nature of Robinson’s posts.’
‘But it looks like Facebook has given him a special status. He was treated differently than the normal Facebook user. They have made editorial decisions about his posts and therefore became responsible and are in partnership with him.’
Mr Akunjee said the ‘special treatment seems to be financially driven’ and went against their regulations over defamatory content.’
After the bullying video went viral, more than £150,000 was raised by the public to help relocate Jamal to a house outside Huddersfield.
None of the funds will be used for legal battles against Facebook or Robinson.
Jamal’s legal team has set up a crowdfunding website. To donate, visit crowdjustice.com/case/jamalrobinsondefamation