This week, a high court in Belfast, Ireland, struck down Facebook’s legal bid to prevent a 14-year-old girl from suing the site for hosting a nude picture of her.
The girl’s photograph was allegedly posted on a so-called “shame page” several times over the past several years. Her lawyers are arguing that Facebook had the power to prevent it from being reposted by tracking it, while Facebook countered by saying that it removed the picture every time it was notified about it. The girl is suing both the man who allegedly posted the photos and Facebook itself for “misuse of private information, negligence and breach of the Data Protection Act,” according to The Guardian.
Some experts also drew a parallel with the current controversy surrounding Facebook’s decision to take down — and then restore — a historically relevant photo of a nude girl during the Vietnam War.
“Facebook has the tools to remove images promptly and block them, but it is not consistent…compare it with the case when Facebook took down a 1972 war photo last week and then self-policed to bring it back,” media law expert Paul Tweed told CNN.
Facebook has been sued over similar issues before and ultimately won. It will be interesting to see how this case plays out and if it impacts the way Facebook moderates content on the site.