Northern Ireland

Facebook fails to halt legal bid over nude teenager photo

Facebook Image copyright AFP
Image caption A naked photograph of the teenager was posted on the social media site

Facebook has failed in a bid to halt legal action over a naked photograph of a 14-year-old Northern Ireland girl being posted on the site.

Lawyers for the child claim the picture was blackmailed from her and repeatedly published online as a form of revenge.

The girl is taking legal action against Facebook and the man who posted the photo in what is believed to be the first case of its kind in the world.

A judge in Belfast refused Facebook's bid to end proceedings.

The case will now advance to full trial at a later date.

The girl's photograph was said to have been posted on a so-called "shame" page on Facebook several times between November 2014 and January 2016.

A lawyer for the teenager likened it to a method of child abuse.

It was contended that Facebook had the power to block any republication by using a DNA process to identify the image.

The court heard it should have been a "red-line" issue for the company.

The girl, who cannot be identified, is seeking damages for misuse of private information, negligence and breach of the Data Protection Act.

A lawyer for Facebook argued the claim for damages should be dismissed, saying the company always took down the picture when it was notified.

Facebook's lawyers relied on a European directive, claiming it provides protection from having to monitor a vast amount of online material for what is posted on one page.

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