'Revenge Porn' Lawsuit Could Spell Huge Trouble for Facebook
Upcoming nude-photo trial could 'open the floodgates' for similar legal actions
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2016 8:47 AM CDT
Tiziana Cantone killed herself after a sex video went viral.   (Instagram)
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(Newser) – An upcoming trial against Facebook over a "revenge porn" picture of a 14-year-old could prompt an avalanche of similar lawsuits, the Guardian reports. Weeks after a Belfast court rejected Facebook's efforts to stop the lawsuit, many other victims are considering their legal options, media lawyer Paul Tweed told the paper. "A case like this risks opening the floodgates for other civil cases to be taken against Facebook and other social media sites,” he said. "I can see it being a very real problem for all the social media sites going forward." The stakes are "seismic" for the tech world if Facebook is found negligent of misusing private info and violating the Data Protection Act, per the Guardian. The case revolves around a nude photo of the 14-year-old that appeared on a "shaming page" on the social network. Facebook maintains it removes lewd posts once notified—as EU law requires—and cannot police the massive amounts of material that appear on its pages.

A rep told the Guardian there was "no place for this kind of content on Facebook and we remove it when it’s reported to us." But victims' advocates say Facebook is not doing enough to combat shaming posts up front though it has the technology to do so. The company uses Microsoft's PhotoDNA to tag child exploitation posts so they won't repeat, yet the photo of the 14-year-old popped up multiple times over 14 months, per CNNMoney. "There is a widespread feeling that [Facebook] is not doing enough to tackle content that their own terms and conditions forbid," expert John Carr told the Guardian. The results of public shaming can be devastating, as seen last month when an Italian woman killed herself after a sex tape went viral. The suicide came even after Tiziana Cantone, 31, had won a legal case to have the material removed from social media and search engines.
 

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