The host and producer of the “American Trucker” cable TV series is challenging Facebook and other social media sites to “police” and hold new pages and posts for 24 hours before allowing them to be released.
Robb Mariani said he was alerted by friends that his photo was being used in a controversial Facebook meme that says: “You’re not a real trucker until you have hit a hitchhiker with your (expletive) bottle."
“Facebook apparently allowed this," Mariani said. “If I’m a victim, who else is a victim?”
The charismatic host from Debary, Florida, is a longtime advocate of the trucking industry, a message that he tried to carry over in his weekly road trips on "American Trucker."
The show ran for two seasons on the Speed channel, debuting in January 2011.
“I’m all about freedom of speech, but how about slander and defaming somebody for no reason?” Mariani said.
Mariani said he is developing a new series with a trucking theme and said he was “blindsided” by the R-rated Facebook message.
“I really don’t go on social media sites very much," he said. "I have a fan page and I stay in touch with my fans, but that’s about the extent of it.”
Mariani said he received texts and phone calls from friends asking him if he had seen the post.
“This is the complete opposite of something I worked very hard to achieve, which is putting the industry in a positive light, “ he said.
Mariani said he will be meeting with an attorney this week to see what options he has to block the negative Facebook posts as well as the use of his photos.
“I don’t condone that," he said. "Maybe some guy thinks this is funny associating me with assaulting homeless people with urine, but that doesn’t fly with me."
If you are worried about keeping your Facebook photos private, go to https://www.facebook.com/help/www/327689333983073 and