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Revenge porn and class action claims plague Facebook in Europe

Facebook has failed its attempt to strike out legal action brought by a Northern Irish teenager over the posting of a nude photo.

The 14 year old has brought an action against both Facebook and the man suspected of posting the image to a “shame” page.

The case has the potential to reframe the legal parameters of permissible online behaviour.

Lawyers speaking on behalf of the girl in Belfast High Court alleged the image was obtained via blackmail and its publishing constituted a type of revenge porn which was repeatedly hosted on the social media site from 2014 until January of last year.

The girl is seeking damages for misuse of private information, negligence and a breach of the Data Protection Act, submitting that Facebook held the power to block the image’s republication by using tools to identify the image.

Lawyers on behalf of Facebook have maintained that the photograph was taken down as soon as the site was notified of its publication.

The social media company faced a second legal setback in Austria, where a Vienna court allowed a data protection case to be heard as a class action suit.

Leading privacy activist Max Schrems is claiming €500 in damages for each of his lawsuit’s signatories - numbering over 25,000 people.

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Lexoo Legal Brief contributor | LLM, Queen Mary University of London
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