Uh-Oh! Facebook Expected To Deal With A Flurry Of Incoming ‘Revenge Porn’ Lawsuits

Hannah Bleau

Mark Zuckerberg recently made a pretty big announcement. He’s having his people decrease– if not completely take away– pages in your newsfeed. You see, he knows what’s best for you. He cares about your mental health, so he’s doing this for your benefit. You’re welcome.

He lost $3.3 billion following that announcement. I wonder why…

Anyway, there’s more bad news coming Facebook’s way. It doesn’t really have to do with Zuckerberg’s announcement, but it’s bad news nonetheless.

Facebook could be facing tons of lawsuits from victims of “revenge porn.”

Paul Tweed, a libel and privacy expert based in Belfast, has said that his office has been inundated with queries from people who claim nude photographs of them have been posted online.

He told The Guardian that the teenager’s case in Belfast will have an affect on court cases in Dublin: ‘Because Facebook, Twitter and other social media giants have their European headquarters in Dublin most of these cases will be heard in the Dublin courts.

‘There are quite a number pending and the settlement in the case last week at Belfast high court will undoubtedly have a bearing on them.’

The teenager reached a settlement with Facebook after alleging misuse of private information, negligence and breaching the Data Protection Act.

The child’s lawyer, Pearse MacDermott, representing the girl, said: ‘Had these images been put in a newspaper or on the TV there would be serious repercussions and those same repercussions should also apply to whatever platform is used in the social media world.

‘The case moves the goal posts in the sense that Facebook always said it was up to the individual user to be responsible, not them.’

That’s a pretty significant shift. At this point, lawyers challenging Facebook say the social media giant DOES have the ability to remove certain content. It has demonstrated its ability to do so before. Therefore, an argument can be made.

The case of Kim Phuc – the Vietnamese child famously pictured running naked down a road from a napalm attack – is an argument that sites might be able to do more in ‘revenge porn’ situations.

Facebook’s algorithm deleted Kim Phuc’s image due to the nudity in it.

Tweed says this proves they have the capability to censor naked pictures: ‘It was an algorithm that picked up that image and censored it initially and it is obvious that the same algorithm could easily be used to filter out naked pictures of people that are posted for more sinister reasons on Facebook.

‘The network cannot argue it doesn’t have the power to filter out these images.’

Facebook says it has members of its Community Operations team looking out for red flags and also touted its “photo-matching technologies.”

The spokesperson also commented on the teenage girl’s case in Belfast: ‘This case has been ongoing for several years.

‘For legal reasons, we are only at liberty to state that no judgment has been rendered in this case and that there has been no determination of any actual or potential liability for Facebook.’

This will certainly be interesting to follow. Will Facebook take responsibility for these cases? We shall see…

h/t Daily Mail