Man Sues Facebook
The father of a 12 year old is suing Facebook because his daughter keeps creating accounts and posting sexually explicit photos of herself. In addition to that she was also posting personal information online such as: her cell phone number, address, and school. The girl was in the care of a voluntary care center. He is suing Facebook because he says that Facebook is not reinforcing it’s own age policy. The argument is being made that Facebook is creating an environment where “a risk of sexual and physical harm for the child” and is therefore being negligent.
The court papers say that the father will “seek an injunction ordering Facebook to close down his daughter’s account and stop her from opening another one”. Furthermore the papers say that if that doesn’t happen, he “will seek an injunction to stop Facebook from operating in Northern Ireland”. Good luck to that, unrealistic much?
In a statement the father says “I was horrified when I saw the photographs my daughter had posted of herself on the site. She is far too young to understand what she is doing. She suffers problems and engages in self-destructive behavior. She is currently receiving counseling.”
So where does the responsibility belong? On the parents or on the social networking sites?
I think Facebook has some issues to work out, especially when it comes to privacy. But I don’t think that you can hold the company responsible if your child is acting irresponsibly on the internet. Call me crazy but is it not the responsibility of her father to ensure he knows what his child is doing? Am I the only one here that has a problem with this man? His lawyer argues An age check, like asking for a passport number, would be a simple measure for Facebook to implement.” First of all, Facebook doesn’t need my passport number or drivers license number. Second, what about those people who don’t have a passport number, or drivers license? And Third, we need to really examine how much responsibility Facebook should be taking on for the behaviours of your children.
This child obviously has other issues that need to be addressed, and her problem is not going to be solved because you find away from keeping her from accessing Facebook. She could upload those pictures online at other sites simply by putting in a fake birthday. Also, if she is 12 now I can only assume that she’ll be 13 within the next year and will be back at it with the same behaivour (since Facebook says you must be 13 years of age to sign up). This child is posting sexual pictures of herself on the internet. Should we not be focusing on the why? Should her parents not be trying to stop her from doing this? If she is living at a care center why has her internet not been cut for her own protection? Why aren’t we asking all these questions?
Don’t get me wrong I understand that as a parent you can’t stop your child from doing everything especially in this technology enhanced world. Which is why I say if it weren’t Facebook it would be something else. This child clearly needs some help. But parents need to take the responsibility in this age of technology to make their children understand about the dangers of online activity. It should be as normal as teaching a child not to take candy from a stranger, or to look both ways before crossing the street.
It’s interesting because over on babble.com parents with underage kids who had Facebook were criticizing a school principle who was calling for a ban on Facebook at schools and asking parents to take their children’s profiles down. Some of their responses were: “Get back to teaching”, “quit trying to usurp my authority”, “A school has no right to tell my child what he can and cannot do on his own time, in his own home.” And “will you stand for the school telling you what video games and music your child is permitted to play at home?” It would seem that there is infighting between parents, schools, and institutions about where responsibility lies.
My solution is you should all stop arguing with each other and protect your children, when you are teaching them about taking candy from strangers you should also be teaching them about the internet. Education is the key, and getting your children help when they need it.
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