Cape Times E-dition

Facebook battle settled as Nuri Sushi owner gets sole rights


THE owner of the popular sushi outlet, Nuri Sushi, will finally have exclusive and sole administration rights over the business’s Facebook social media page following a court battle.

Owner, Bonny Levi, and ex co-owner Mehdi Pakdoust headed to court over the administration rights of the business’ Facebook page - which has more than 12 000 followers - after their business relationship soured.

Pakdoust had allegedly removed Levi as an administrator of the page and according to the judgment, “it has led to a Meta dispute spanning continents”.

Western Cape High Court Acting Judge Michael Bishop said: “In the end, it turned out it was all the fault of (the marketing manager)” who had unknowing to all parties opened a business manager page that threw a spanner in the works in handing over sole administration rites to Levi.

“A Facebook Page – unlike a personal Facebook account – is run by an ‘administrator’. The administrator must be a Facebook user.

“Pakdoust was a Facebook user and while he and Levi were still working together, he was an administrator of the Nuri Sushi page. Levi was not a personal Facebook user. But he also acted as an administrator of the Nuri Sushi page through another of his businesses that did have a Facebook account – Eastern Food Bazaar. An administrator of a Facebook page has many powers. He can add content to the page. He can invite other Facebook users to become administrators of the page. And he has the ability to remove existing administrators.

“That is what Pakdoust did to Levi. On 26 April 2021, he removed Levi’s agent – Eastern Food Bazaar – as an administrator of the Nuri Sushi Page.

This seems to be have been the culmination of the dispute between the parties about Nuri Sushi. Fortunately, a month later, the parties were able to settle their disputes. Levi agreed to buy out Pakdoust’s share in Nuri Sushi for R1.5 million,” the judgment read.

A clause of this settlement was that Pakdoust disengaged on all social media platforms relating to Nuri and that he was to remove himself as the administrator and hand over to Levi all and any passwords and access information that may be required from time to time.

Acting Judge Bishop said: “This seems like a relatively simply clause… But it does not translate accurately into Facebook lingo. What Facebook required to transfer control was for Pakdoust to make Levi (or his agent) an administrator, and then remove himself as an administrator. It could not be achieved through the handing over of ‘passwords and access information’. It took two experts and American lawyers to figure out how to actually achieve something that ought to have been easy.”

During litigation it was found that the marketing manager “created the Meta Business Manager Page, without informing anyone” and because of this, the page could continue to exist.

“Pakdoust agreed to make Levi the administrator of the Facebook Page. Because of (the marketing manager’s) presumably well-intentioned changes, he was technically unable to do so. Until Meta told him how in April this year. Since then, he has been able to make Levi the administrator, and has refused to do so without further payment in the form of Levi compromising costs awards. Pakdoust was not entitled to any further payment,” said Judge Bishop.

Attempts to get comment from both parties were unsuccessful by deadline.





African News Agency