Facebook is being sued by a Northern Ireland father after he found suggestive pictures of his 12-year-old daughter posted on the social networking site, according to the BBC.
The father claims the material endangers his daughter and makes her a target for child sex abusers.
The daughter posted the pictures on her page despite the site’s rule of requiring users to be over the age of 13.
Facebook has very weak checks on the ages of new users.
“It relies on children stating their correct age and it doesn’t have any checks in place,” said the father’s solicitor, Hilary Carmichael to BBC.
Carmichael feels the company failed to uphold its policy in this situation.
“My own personal view is that Facebook isn’t suitable for under-18s, but the company isn’t even able to uphold its own policy of keeping under-13s out,” he added.
Carmichael describes the daughter in the pictures as “heavily made-up,” posing provocatively and looking much older than her actual age.
Along with posting up sexual pictures, the daughter also provided Facebook users with her personal information including her address and the school she attended.
Facebook was sued for being “guilty of negligence” and creating “a risk of sexual and physical harm” to the child in Belfast High Court on Monday.
The daughter’s original Facebook page was shut down by her father, but she secretly created a new one and posted the suggestive pictures to it.
Carmichael admitted that the girl was at fault for posting the pictures.
However, Facebook is facing major heat for not monitoring their service effectively. Commentators are saying that letting something like this slip could be problematic for the world’s largest social networking site.
However, checking the ages of users is not a simple task, according to child protection expert Jim Gamble.
“Under-13s create a real problem because it is absolutely impossible in the current set of standards to be sure about the age of anyone because children will lie,” he said.