Sunday 18 November 2018

Nude pics and teenage kicks are child abuse

The Facebook case raises disturbing issues over teenage vulnerability that should concern us all, writes Sarah Caden

SHAME IS JUST A CLICK AWAY: Parents must guard children from becoming cyber abuse victims amid rising peer pressure. Picture posed by models
SHAME IS JUST A CLICK AWAY: Parents must guard children from becoming cyber abuse victims amid rising peer pressure. Picture posed by models

Sarah Caden

Last Tuesday in Belfast, Facebook came to an out-of-court settlement with a 14-year-old girl who took a case against the social-media giant over the appearance of her naked image on a so-called "shame" page. It was a landmark case, in which she had sought damages for misuse of private information, negligence and breach of the Data Protection Act. In court, the girl's legal team likened the experience to child abuse.

Reading several articles on this landmark win, which is expected to open the floodgates to similar cases worldwide, I found myself desperate to ascertain something. The word "blackmail" was used. There was mention of "revenge" and "revenge porn".

This child was 14. As a parent of a daughter only four years younger, one of the most disturbing facts of all this was that the photo existed at all.

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