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Facebook Sued Over ‘Revenge Porn’ Page

    July 30, 2014
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

A Texas woman has filed a hefty lawsuit against Facebook, claiming that the social network failed to act quickly enough to remove a page where her ex had set up shop, posting fake nudes depicting her in “sexual acts.”

She is suing the company for $123 million, or as Texas Lawyer puts its, $0.10 per user – all 1.23 billion of them. For the record, Facebook now boasts over 1.32 billion active users per newest earnings report, so the claimant might want to amend the petition.

User counts aside, Meryam Ali claims that Facebook failed to remove the page, which featured the “true face of plaintiff attached to false, phony, naked body shots, and at least one pose where there is plaintiff in a graphic pornographic-like photo…purporting to be in the middle of a sexual act,” until the police became involved.

Ali says in her suit that she asked Facebook to remove the page as soon as she discovered it back in December – but Facebook didn’t get around to removing it until February. She claims that Facebook acted only when the Houston Police Department subpoenaed the company in the hopes of figuring out who was behind the page.

Not only is the plaintiff seeking “full justice for the significant trauma, extreme humiliation, extreme embarrassment, severe emotional disturbances, and severe mental and physical suffering,” but she’s particularly upset with Facebook’s practices.

The lawsuit ““seeks to expose the frailties and failures of the falsely advertised, and false promoted privacy mechanisms” of Facebook. Also, “Facebook’s upper management, officers, directors and key employees have long known about and essentially concealed…this lawsuit is intended…to get Defendant Facebook, it’s officers, directors, management, employees and subscribers (with media attention) to stand up, take notice and pay attention to the serious privacy violations concerns involved in revenge porn situations.”

Facebook’s content moderation system has had its fair share of negative press.

“Revenge Porn,” or publishing nude and sexual images or videos of an ex-lover online, has received a lot of attention as of late. Various states have signed anti-revenge porn bills into law, codifying penalties for those who upload the images and videos. As for punishing those who host the content – it’s a different story.

Though Ali’s situation involved fake nudes – photoshopped nude bodies paired with her actual face – it’s still revenge porn (admittedly a strange kind).

Texas doesn’t currently have a specific revenge porn statute, but Ali is bringing “negligence and breach of contract causes of action against Facebook, and gross negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy causes of action against Facebook” for failing to remove the page in a timely manner. It’s clear she has a case, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Image via Thinkstock

  • JH

    Hope she wins this sort of thing and a few others are out of hand

  • hussian

    Photoshop? Its not even her body just her face, she should learn to deal with it.

  • Sam Edison

    I hate facebook, but I think that because it wasn’t her actually in the photos, it’s not “revenge porn”. He found a way to embarrass her, without breaking the law (in my opinion). She might not be all that innocent either; since most people won’t just do something like that unless she created a hostile or unforgiving situation.

    • JaiGuru

      I suppose you missed the entire internet full of trolls who will target you just because you happened along while they were bored? Get out of your house, you’re ignorant.

      • SirReepicheep

        Actually, in your point it should be stay in your house on the Internet more. You are saying that Sam has missed out on what has been happening on the Internet and then your suggestion is to get out of the house more. But I do agree, Sam has missed what happens daily on the Internet – people don’t need a reason to try to shame you.

  • JaiGuru

    This is a ridiculous circumstance. Best of luck lady! No one should have to tolerate this. It’s time for this sort of behavior to have a profound consequence.

  • Chris

    Why is everyone so quick to punish facebook? Doesn’t crime require intent? That’s like suing a liquor store because a robber broke in and mugged you while robbing the store. Sure it happened on store grounds, but we realize that the robber was the criminal, not the owner of the medium in which the crime happened. Just make harsher sentences for the person who posted the pictures. If I was Facebook and I lost this case I would just say F*** you to everyone and never allow any pictures ever again. There’s no way their staff can monitor and react to every violation on the site (if this was even a violation). And again, why are we ignoring the actual criminal? My intuition is that she just wants to get rich. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were in on it together.

  • what a dumb bitch

    1st amendment. Case dismissed. Next.

  • gaga lady bird

    explains the divorce. Hey baby be glad they are fake, not that we care. just knowing you suck dick in the AM is enough.

  • Dave

    123 mil you say? Please win, set precedent. I’m off to photoshop, then social media sites, then vast riches.

  • microrex21

    stupid waste of time….its not her real body just her face. she wont have a chance in court.