A Texas woman is suing Facebook for $123 million, alleging that the site did not do enough to remove a “revenge porn” page set up against her by a former friend. The woman discovered the page in December 2013, which featured pictures of her face doctored onto nude photos, but the site wasn’t removed until February. What’s worse, it was only removed after police subpoenaed Facebook to find out who was behind the page.
The large figure of the lawsuit represents ten cents for every Facebook user. From the splashy figure, it’s clear that the suit is intended to get people’s attention about privacy issues on the site — a motivation confirmed in the suit’s language itself.
“This lawsuit is intended … to get Defendant Facebook, its officers, directors, management, employees and subscribers (with media attention) to stand up, take notice and pay attention to the serious privacy violations concerns involved in revenge porn situations,” it read.
The lawsuit also said that it seeks to expose the flaws in Facebook’s privacy mechanisms, and even hold the company’s leadership accountable for allegedly concealing the harm that can come from its privacy practices.
As a pure publicity move, there’s no doubting the suit’s effectiveness. Even if the case doesn’t amount to anything, it’s still managed to get people thinking and talking about an important privacy problem on the largest social network on the planet. And that’s a good thing.