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Facebook To Stand Trial Over Nude Images

Cases of revenge porn and cyberbullying are rising rapidly around the world. If you are affected, use the links to our support services at the end of this post.

Social media giant, Facebook will now face trial in another ‘revenge porn’ case in Belfast after a high court ruled against their lawyer’s pleas to have the case thrown out. The case involves naked pictures of a 14 year-old girl, allegedly obtained by blackmail, being posted on ‘shaming’ pages. The pictures were repeatedly circulated for over a year on the social media platform, eventually being taken down by Facebook after reports were made (if you are affected by revenge porn or any kind of abuse online please explore our total access support services to see the ways we can help you).

The 14 year old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is also suing the man who circulated the pictures. Her legal team will be claiming damages for misuse of private information, negligence and breach of the Data Protection Act. They also added that Facebook could have used ‘fingerprinting’ technology to prevent the offending photographs from being uploaded.

Facebook lawyers had asked the court to dismiss the girl’s case claiming that European Law does not require them to sift through vast quantities of uploaded content and claimed they had responded appropriately by taking down the photos immediately after being notified.

This case follows another social media trial in the Northern Irish capital where a man was recently prosecuted for ‘revenge porn’ after posting explicit images and the phone number of his ex-girlfriend on Facebook, for which he is currently awaiting sentencing.

New laws in the UK regarding ‘revenge porn’ came into effect in April 2015 carrying a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment for the distribution of private sexual images without the individuals consent. Since this change in the law there have been over 200 prosecutions.

‘There is a growing trend of crimes committed on or through social media. The use of the internet, social media and other forms of technology to humiliate, control and threaten individuals is rising.’

Alison Saunders, U.K Director of Public Prosecutions

As more cases emerge from the growing trends of revenge porn and cyberbullying, Facebook are expected to face continual pressure to address the issue of its platform being used to spread hate and explicit or sexual materials by account holders. If you are affected by any form of revenge porn or online negativity we can help. First visit our cyberbullying and online abuse help center or check out our total access support services to see the different ways we can help – alternatively you can email help@cybersmile.org to access our global support advisors. For more information about Cybersmile, please explore the following recommendations.

What are your thoughts about Facebook’s responsibility? Tweet us over @CybersmileHQ!