Facebook will respond by Oct. 5 to a subpoena served by lawyers for a teenage YouTube personality’s mother, who is suing an as-yet unidentified woman for allegedly defaming her on Instagram, according to the plaintiff’s lawyer.
Attorney Kenneth Ingber, on behalf of plaintiff Tiffany Smith, informed Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Susan Bryant-Deason of the latest developments during a hearing Wednesday.
Smith’s daughter, 13-year-old YouTube star Piper Rockelle, whose real name is Pipe Rockelle Smith, has 3 million Instagram followers and nearly 5 million YouTube subscribers, according to her mother’s court papers.
Ingber stated in a sworn declaration filed in August that Facebook attorney Gabriella Gallego told him she and her client did not object to the subpoena being served as long as no relief was sought against Facebook, which owns Instagram but is not a party to the lawsuit.
In an Aug. 21 order, Bryant-Deason granted Smith leave to issue a subpoena on Facebook seeking business records that identify the holder or subscriber of the Instagram account “ExposingRockelles” from June 1, 2019, to June 1 of this year.
Smith’s lawsuit, filed April 20, alleges the woman defamed her and published private information. The suit currently identifies the alleged author of the damaging comments only as Jane Doe.
Doe is an Instagram subscriber who, along with others, created an account on Instagram dubbed ExposingRockelles, according to the suit, which describes the account as a “hate” page “dedicated to harassing and disseminating false and defamatory allegations” against Smith and her family.
Smith learned in March that Doe published assertions that she is involved in child pornography in order to subject her family to shame, embarrassment, humiliation and ridicule, the suit states.
Doe also published Smith’s address and posted photographs of her home, where Piper also resides, “in order to intimidate and expose plaintiff and her family to harassment and harm…,” the suit alleges.
In one posting Doe wrote, “Someone’s address just got leaked. Credits: my team,” according to the suit, which says Doe’s alleged actions resulted “in the intended outcome as strangers appeared at plaintiff’s home and the police had to be called.”
Smith believes that Doe and others are using ExposingRockelles “to orchestrate a malicious and vile campaign in which (Doe) and her co-conspirators are directing millions of Instagram subscribers, most of whom are minors, to commit perjury by filing false police reports” against the plaintiff, the suit states.
Doe and others also published and circulated a false list of purported crimes by Smith to police and child protective services, prompting police officers to show up at her home to investigate, according to the plaintiff’s court papers, which say police determined there was no merit to the allegations against her.
Smith alleges that Doe is engaging in such conduct out of malice and in an attempt to increase interest in the number of Instagram followers for Doe and her family members.