A Facebook lawsuit involving a minor in Ireland has been settled out-of-court for an undisclosed amount. The father of a then 11 year old daughter claims his child was exposed to online sexual predators after the child signed up for Facebook and used it to communicate with men. The father filed the lawsuit, claiming that Facebook is failing to enforce its age restriction policy putting his child at risk. Facebook’s policy is, you must be 13 years old to have a Facebook account.
The lawsuit was filed four years ago and trial was set to begin on the case when Facebook suddenly decided to settle the suit. Facebook had removed the girl’s profiles (apparently there were several) but that wasn’t good enough for the girl’s father and that’s when the lawyers got involved.
But the family’s lawyers claimed Facebook had a “duty of care” towards the girl and was “negligent” because it has no system in place to stop users from misrepresenting their ages.
“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,” the court documents said.
In this age of easily accessible social media and Internet access parents are struggling on how to best educate their children on Internet safety. Whether or not that is Facebook’s (or any other services) responsibility can be debated. While that debate goes on though, it’s important to talk to your children about the risks and dangers of online communication with strangers.
What do you think of this settlement? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.Source: Hindustan Times
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