The mother of a 15-year-old girl has taken Instagram to court over a fake account under the teenager’s name containing naked photos and videos, reports The Volkskrant.
This mother, from Hoorn in the Netherlands, wants to know who set up the account, but Instagram will not provide user data without a court order.
A court in Alkmaar has heard that the photos and sexually explicit film do not actually feature the teenager, but the account included her nickname, and may be related to school bullying.
Marianne Zeeman, the mother’s lawyer, reportedly said: “This is not the only incident. The girl has been pushed to attempt suicide several times.” She added that the family saw legal action against Instagram to test their “strong suspicions” about the culprit as the only way to deal with the bullying, as police had been unable to resolve the issue.
Instagram, an American company, argued it is a neutral platform acting as an intermediary, not responsible for content, and bound to protect user privacy. Jens van den Brink, acting for Instagram, reportedly said it found itself “between a rock and a hard place”. The fake account has been taken offline.
The court will give a decision on whether to force Instagram to reveal the name of the alleged bully by 11 July.
Last year a 21-year-old Dutch woman called Chantal successfully took Facebook to court to find out who had posted a “revenge porn” sex film of her online, and an IP address involved is currently being investigated.
Meanwhile, the Dutch government is planning to tighten rules to protect children online this year, making “sex chat” and sexual extortion of minors a crime.
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