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Facebook sued by a Father over Suggestive Photos of his 12-year old Daughter

08
Sep
2011

facebook_logo_darkOne father from Ireland whose name remains undisclosed due to legalities, has sued Facebook over the suggestive photos that his 12-year old daughter posted on the social networking site. The photos put her at risk from pedophiles and predators, according to the father and he’s seeking an injunction forcing Facebook to close down her account and to make sure that she doesn’t get to create another one. If he doesn’t get that, he’s going to be seeking an injunction to make the social networking site stop operating in Northern Ireland altogether.

His daughter posted a number of ‘sexually suggestive’ pictures of herself on the site. Her profile picture is of her wearing heavy make-up and a low-cut top, something which her father (and most people, probably) considers to be ‘completely inappropriate’ for a 12-year old. That’s not the worst of it either. His daughter also has a picture of herself lifting up her top, though that one has already been removed, much to his relief.

The father claims that these photos put her in danger of being targeted by pedophiles. It could be argued, of course, that it was his daughter who put the photos up there in the first place. However, the child suffers from behavioral problems and often engages in self-destructive behavior and is, in fact, under counseling. She has a history of running away and has once been found in a derelict house. Her father is very concerned that she will run off with someone she met on Facebook. It is believed that she divulged personal information about herself, where she lives, etc. to people she met on Facebook.

Also, Facebook’s policy specifically states that no person below 13 years old can own an account; that there are still children who are able to create an account on Facebook despite the policy makes the social networking site ‘guilty of negligence’ – or so it is alleged in the lawsuit. 

“I believe Facebook isn’t suitable for under-18s but the company isn’t even able to uphold its own policy of keeping under-13s out. If a child goes into an off-license to buy alcohol or a shop to buy cigarettes, they’re asked for ID to prove their age. Yet a child can join Facebook – and be exposed to a bigger population than that of the entire EU – without any ID being requested. An age check, like asking for a passport number, would be a simple measure to implement”, said Hillary Carmichael, the father’s solicitor. Carmichael has created a website called “childrenonfacebook.com” where parents can go to if they think that their children are being put in danger just by being on the social networking site.

If the father and Carmichael are successful in their lawsuit against Facebook, the social networking giant might just face a huge financial loss. More importantly, this lawsuit might just inspire some policy changes that would ultimately make Facebook a safer place.

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