Facebook Facing Lawsuit After 12-Year-Old Girl Posts Lewd Photos
Facebook is facing yet another lawsuit.
A Northern Ireland man is suing the company, claiming that Facebook is "guilty of negligence" and had created "a risk of sexual and physical harm" after his 12-year-old daughter uploaded provocative pictures to her page, according to the BBC. Perhaps more importantly, the father is also upset because of his daughter's age.
While Facebook maintains a policy of verifying that users are over 13, there are no checks in place to make sure they're telling the truth. At the time the lawsuit was filed, Digital Trends reported, the girl's father claimed that Facebook had not yet removed the girl's profile.
"My own personal view is that Facebook isn’t suitable for under-18s, but the company isn’t even able to uphold its own policy of keeping under-13s out," said Hilary Carmichael, the father's lawyer told Digital Trends.
According to the BBC, while Facebook has "come a long way" in terms of privacy and age verification, there still aren't enough checks in place. Carmichael, as a result, is advocating for a passport verification system to better track who is using the site.
Privacy issues have long been an issue for the social network, but there seems to be little they can do in regards to age verification. While this example may show how easy it is to lie and bypass the simple age check, the social network has pushed for less anonymity and more openness online.
“I think anonymity on the Internet has to go away,” Facebook's former head of marketing, Randi Zuckerberg, said in July, as reported by The Huffington Post's Bianca Bosker.
In effect, stricter age restrictions and identification policies on Facebook could lead to less anonymity. Whether or not the lawsuit holds remains to be seen.
Back in March, Australia's Daily Telegraph wrote that Facebook's chief privacy adviser, Mozelle Thompson, addressed the Australian Senate cyber-safety committee and said each day the social network removes 20,000 profiles believed to belong to children under 13. In May, a Consumer Reports survey found that 7.5 million underage users maintained largely unsupervised profiles against Facebook's policy.