Nothing is ever truly serious unless a politician says it or does it.
So there can be no question that Facebook has been been rocked to its sneakers by a lawsuit served upon it from on high by a would-be Michigan congressman.
Majed Moughni was a Republican candidate for Congress last year. He failed in this quest, coming fourth in the Republican primary in Michigan's 15th district. However, according to The Detroit News, Moughni seems to believe that the reason he lost was Facebook.
Moughni, you see, had a cunning plan to defeat U.S. Rep. John Dingell. As his lawsuit puts it: "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 the longest-serving member of Congress."
I once sat on a plane that was overseated, but I didn't know one could actually do that to a member of Congress. Still, Moughni seems adamant that his overseating plan was scuppered when Facebook sank his page on the site.
Moughni has a new and very active Facebook page. But the takedown happened last June.
On Monday, Moughni posted to his current Facebook page: "This lawsuit was filed to address the lack of due process at Facebook. Imagine for a minute if your Facebook page was deactivated. What took you years to accumulate is forever erased. Your posts, photos, and memories are gone forever. As we...speak, Facebook has no due process, no appeal, and no live person to communicate with."
The Dearborn Press and Guide reported that Moughni had about 1,600 friends when Facebook took action. He reportedly believes Facebook shut him down because he had criticized his opponent's need to introduce a resolution in solidarity with Detroit Tigers pitcher Andres Galarraga, who was denied a perfect game by a myopically blown umpire's call.
I am serious. These are politicians, remember?
Facebook, for its part, believes it has a perfectly reasonable explanation. Spokesman Andrew Noyes told the Detroit News that the account had been flagged for "suspicious or anomalous behavior." Well, of course the behavior was suspicious and anomalous: 1,600 people were showing interest in a local politician.
Noyes reportedly insisted that before a shutdown, the system always sends a pop-up warning that cautions a user not to, for example, send multiple messages to people who are not friends.
Moughni does seem rather emotional about the whole thing. He told the Detroit News: "They disorganized us in the middle of our campaign and we lost. Facebook took us off the market. They took us off the face of the earth."
But, having returned to the face of the earth, he reportedly doesn't want money. He wants an injunction that tells Facebook it cannot close an account without a right of appeal.
I am sure there are many who will have some sympathy with Moughni's pain. Facebook can appear so heavy-handedly draconian sometimes, such as when it once censored a doll's nipples.
And Moughni is a lawyer, so he presumably knows how to put Facebook's back up against the wall, legally.
Surely this is the perfect scenario for "The Social Network 2." The small town Michigan politician drags Jesse Eisenberg into court, cross-examines him to tears, wins his case, then wins an election, and, um, becomes the next president of the United States.
You'd go to see that, wouldn't you?