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This article was published on August 9, 2011

Northern Ireland woman takes out Facebook injunction in legal first

Northern Ireland woman takes out Facebook injunction in legal first

A woman from Northern Ireland has been granted an injunction against Facebook, among other social networks, in a case that has been described as the first of its kind in the country.

The BBC today reports that the woman’s 9-year relationship with a man had recently ended, and it seems that he had threatened to upload a sexually explicit video of the couple onto social networks, and show it to her friends, family and employer.

Following the woman’s affidavit, Mr Justice McLaughlin granted the injunction which prevents the defendant from revealing the video anywhere online. And more specifically, the judge also named Facebook Ltd as a defendant in the injunction proceedings, which is the first time this has happened in Northern Ireland.

This isn’t the first time an injunction has been taken out that bans social networks from publishing information. Back in May, a far-reaching order was granted by the Court of Protection, in a case where a mother who wanted to withdraw life support from her brain-damaged daughter. The injunction prevented the woman, her relatives and those providing care from being identified on Facebook and Twitter.

It was thought that this injunction was one of the first of its kind to specifically bar publication of information on social networking websites, and it even went so far to ban reporters from going within 50 meters of the woman’s care home. And we’ve also previously written about the super injunctions that have been taken out by high-profile celebrities to prevent private information from being spread on Twitter.