A legal case against Facebook, which will involve a 14-year-old taking the company to court in Belfast over naked images published on the social network, could open the floodgates for other civil claims, according to lawyers who work with victims of revenge pornography.
Facebook’s forthcoming trial, which centres on the claim that it is liable for the publication of a naked picture of the girl posted repeatedly on a “shame page” as an act of revenge, has alarmed the tech world and could have a seismic impact on how social media companies deal with explicit images.
The case has already resulted in victims of revenge pornography seeking advice about whether they too could have grounds for legal action, according to Paul Tweed, media lawyer and senior partner at the law firm Johnsons.
“A case like this risks opening the floodgates for other civil cases to be taken against Facebook and other social media sites,” he said. “We’ve already seen an increase in the number of people calling to find out more. I can see it being a very real problem for all the social media sites going forward.”