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What began as one Chicago man’s attempt to get justice after multiple women allegedly defamed him on a private Facebook group called “Are We Dating The Same Guy? — Chicago” has garnered national attention.
Nikko D’Ambrosio is suing Facebook and 27 women for $75 million after they allegedly posted his photos, name and other identifying information on the Chicago version of a nationwide collection of private Facebook groups called “Are we dating the same guy?” along with complaints about his behavior.
“It didn’t start off as a national issue, but it morphed into one because of how many people are out there who are victims,” D’Ambrosio’s attorney, Daniel Nikolic, told Fox News Digital.
“And these guys aren’t running out there telling family and friends, ‘Look, I’m being defamed on this website.’ Who would want to do that? So, they stay in silence and go about their day. … So, we filed this lawsuit, and now people are coming out of the woodwork.”
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Nikko D’Ambrosio alleges women on the “Are we dating the same guy — Chicago” Facebook page defamed him. (Lawsuit)
Nikolic said his office is fielding “hundreds of calls” from men with similar complaints — and screenshots.
The “Are we dating the same guy?” Facebook pages were popularized around 2022 after various New York City women began sharing their bizarre dating stories on social media platforms like Facebook and TikTok and tried to determine whether they were, in fact, dating the same man known as “West Elm Caleb.” Some of the videos went viral at the time but have since been deleted following backlash.
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That began the explosion of the “Are we dating the same guy?” Facebook pages in cities across the United States, from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles, and eventually around the world. Earlier this year, a mother posted a TikTok saying she found posts about her son on her local “Are we dating the same guy?” page.
The group “self-describes its community as Red-flag awareness groups across the country where women can empower each other and keep each other safe from toxic men.”
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To join these Facebook groups, users must answer a series of questions and agree to certain rules, such as not sharing identifying information posted within the groups with the public or the media and not posting a person’s full name or employer. The groups encourage users to describe their dates more generally rather than with specifics.
D’Ambrosio’s lawsuit says the women he is suing posted information about him on the private “Are we dating the same guy?” Facebook page that could lead to dating and employment issues for him in the future. (Lawsuit)
In fact, the “Are we dating the same guy — Chicago” page includes a rule specifically against doxxing, and it says the goal of the page is to empower women rather than “judge men.”
“Don’t post or comment any last names, social media usernames, phone numbers, addresses, employers, or any other personal or contact information that would make it possible for members or bad actors to look up or contact someone posted here,” the rule states. “Adding this information greatly increases the chances that they will find out they were posted. It’s about protection. Not retaliation.”
But D’Ambrosio’s lawsuit says the women he is suing did exactly that. The lawsuit was filed just months after Illinois passed an anti-doxxing law in August.
“It’s like a digital scarlet letter.”
“His status in the community has been harmed because people have commented that he’s very clingy, he’s a serial dater, he ghosted somebody,” Nikolic said, adding D’Ambrosio worries about finding future jobs with his name and allegedly defamatory information posted on the Facebook group, which has about 80,000 members.
Another issue with the group, Nikolic said, is the fact that D’Ambrosio can’t respond to what is being said about him because the page is private.
Screenshots from the “Are we dating the same guy? — Chicago” Facebook page (Lawsuit)
Nikolic said his office sent cease and desist letters to the moderators of the Chicago-based page, asking them to take down information about D’Ambrosio, but they “wouldn’t respond.”
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“Our client really had no recourse, and it’s not like he could go on the page himself … because you have to ask to join this group. And if you don’t get in, you can’t see what’s on there,” the attorney explained.
D’Ambrosio worries about finding future jobs because of the Facebook group, which has about 80,000 members. (Lawsuit)
But D’Ambrosio could run into some issues with his case thanks to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which essentially prevents social media companies from being held liable for what users post on their respective platforms.
Gianna Basile, a labor and employment attorney at the Chicago-based Disparti Law Group, told Fox News Digital D’Ambrosio’s lawsuit could set a precedent for other lawsuits based on bad dating behavior.
But “there is no legal cause of action for ‘behaving badly’ in dating,” she said.
“Cases like this could potentially weaponize bad dating behavior, chilling individuals sharing their dating experiences online.”
Basile added that social media platforms like Facebook act as a “public square” where people can share personal stories with the public.
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This case, she said, highlights the importance of being careful about what information or opinions one decides to post online.
“The line between opinion and defamatory statement can be thin,” she said. “Users need to be aware that recklessly or spitefully posted content could lead to legal repercussions. It’s a delicate balance between exercising free speech and avoiding defamation.”
Audrey Conklin is a digital reporter for Fox News Digital and FOX Business. Email tips to [email protected] or on Twitter at @audpants.