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Facebook Sued by Father of 11 Year Old Girl Exposed to Predators

A somewhat disgruntled father, who has chosen to remain anonymous, has taken legal action against Facebook for their failure to properly enforce their age restriction policies, subjecting his then 11 year old daughter to dangerous online communication with sexual predators.

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The father's lawyer has claimed that Facebook have been "negligent" and failed to uphold their "duty of care" in regards to his own daughter and potentially other children under the age of 13 (the minimum age allowed according to the site) after it became apparent that she was communicating and sharing sexual images of herself with various men on the site. Court documents obtained by The Sunday Times state that: 

“By registering an account and using Facebook the child might be exposing herself to sexual predators or other grave risks affecting her emotional and physical health."
"[Facebook] are obviously aware that children who should not be using Facebook are doing so by using the simple device of misrepresenting their age.”

A spokesperson for the NSPCC backed the claim: "Social networks have a duty to help protect young users from those who wish them harm and they need to take those responsibilities seriously; age verification is a key part of that."

However, many people are stepping in to defend the social network, voicing their opinion that it is the father, and not Facebook, who has failed to secure the child's safety online. A quick flick down the comments sections on either the Daily Mail or Inquisitr articles suggests that more people are in support of Facebook than the father, although that doesn't appear to have affected the outcome.

After what has reportedly been a 4 year legal battle, Facebook have settled the case out of court for an undisclosed amount. Unfortunately for those countless commenters who spoke up for Facebook, the settlement is likely to set a trend, meaning more cases like this are likely to surface if Facebook can't implement a more secure age verification system, and enforce it more rigorously. The daughter's accounts have been removed from Facebook, but was it too little too late? And where does the responsibility truly fall in this case? On the parent, or Facebook?


Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. Currently working as Editor of Social Songbird, he hopes to one day drop that 'aspiring' prefix. Follow him @SamAtSMF

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Facebook Sued by Father of 11 Year Old Girl Exposed to Predators Reviewed by Sam Bonson on Monday, September 14, 2015 Rating: 5

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