Teen Can Sue Facebook Over Naked Pic: UK Court

Her lawyers say site should've stopped photo from reappearing on 'shame page'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2016 11:54 AM CDT
Teen Can Sue Facebook Over Naked Pic: UK Court
A teen is suing Facebook for the nude photo of her that kept showing up on the site.   (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)

While Facebook refused to allow one of the world's most famous photos of a young naked girl during the Vietnam War, another girl has won the right to sue the social media site for her own nude pic, RT.com reports. A Belfast high court ruled to let the 14-year-old's suit go forward against Facebook, which allegedly allowed her pic to be continually reposted for more than a year on a "shame page" by a man (whom she's also suing) seeking revenge, per the Guardian. The teen is seeking damages for negligence, misuse of private info, and violation of the Data Protection Act, amounting to child abuse, her attorneys say. The main beef: that Facebook uses a special Microsoft technology called PhotoDNA that tags and flags child exploitation materials so they won't repeatedly show up—yet the offending pic was re-added often to the site between November 2014 and January 2016, per CNNMoney.

Facebook, which hasn't offered an explanation as to why its software didn't pick up on this photo, argues that it did take down the picture each time it was notified about it, and it's trying to fall back on European rules that would shield it from having to keep an eye on all of the material that ends up on the site—a virtually impossible task, if you ask Facebook. But it's how the site's been deciding what stays and what goes that has some in a tizzy. "Facebook has the tools to remove images promptly and block them, but it is not consistent," a media law expert tells CNN, comparing it with the Vietnam War photo that has since been uncensored on the site. A full trial will be held in Belfast at an undetermined date. (A huge payout in a Michigan revenge-porn case.)

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