In Northern Ireland a father is justifiably irate that "lewd" pictures of his daughter were posted to Faceboook, but his anger is very much misplaced. Instead of dealing with his daughter, who posted the pictures there herself, or wondering where he may have gone wrong in parenting her, he's suing Facebook. Of course, why take any personal responsibility for your own child?
His lawsuit says that the company doesn't do enough to enforce the policy that only children 13 and older can have accounts and that it created “a risk of sexual and physical harm” to the girl. It also says Facebook is "guilty of negligence," which I would say is the pot calling the kettle black. Because, uh, where was he while his daughter was posting these “sexually explicit,” “heavily made-up” photos that made her look “much older than her 12 years”?
The father told the Daily Mail she has troubles with or without Facebook and has a history of running away. He told the paper:
I’m taking this case against Facebook as a last resort. 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.
I feel for him, but it sounds like Facebook is the least of his worries. So many parents are so quick to find blame with anyone but themselves when their kids do something wrong. The fact is it's up to us to parent our children, not the world's manufacturers of goods and services. Him suing Facebook in this case is like suing a liquor company for a kid getting drunk off liquor snuck from the family liquor cabinet. Once a product -- in this case, Facebook -- is in your home, it's up to you to monitor your children around it.
And yes, the Internet is a wild frontier, and knowing what our children are doing on it at all times is a challenge for sure. But there are programs and precautions you can take to protect your children, and hopefully the lessons we teach them will prevent them from posting such things online. Of course some still will, but some will also drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, drag race cars, and a million other things that are out there and dangerous. But we can't sue the world just because they don't follow the rules.
Could Facebook make it more difficult for kids to sign up? Perhaps, but they'll just find a way around that too, or go to Twitter, or text the pictures, or something else. If your kid can't handle technology, then take technology away.
I can only imagine how horrifying it would be to see pictures of your baby on the Internet like that for anyone to see; I'd want to take someone down too. But suing Facebook isn't going to help anyone. The fact that she posted them there is likely an indication that she needs more guidance in expressing her sexuality, limits, self-esteem, and the like. Hopefully, he can put the lawsuit aside long enough to concentrate on some of those things that may really help her.
Do you think this father has a case against Facebook?
Image via MoneyBlogNewz/Flickr