Belfast Telegraph

Facebook facing legal action over east Belfast violence pictures and comments

By Alan Erwin

Facebook is facing legal action over images posted in connection with street disorder at an east Belfast flashpoint.

Proceedings have been issued against the social media giant on behalf of two teenage boys.

The case centres on material posted online after groups of youths were involved in several nights of trouble close to a sectarian interface.

Last week police came under missile attack and a teenage boy was taken to hospital with a fractured skull.

Disturbances were based around the Castlereagh Street, Albertbridge Road and Templemore Avenue areas.

Lawyers representing two youths, at least one of whom is from the nationalist Short Strand district, have secured High Court injunctions.

Action began after their pictures, threatening messages and unfounded claims of their involvement in wrongdoing appeared online.

Facebook and those suspected of posting the material have been named as joint defendants.

In court today a judge was told all of the material had been taken down by Tuesday.

A solicitor for the company added: "Facebook has taken steps to ensure that the content can't be replaced on the network."

With statements of claims to be lodged within a week, Mr Justice Stephens will review the cases again at the end of the month.

Outside court a solicitor for one of the plaintiff's explained why the case was taken.

Michael Brentnall of Robert Murtagh and Company said: "This injunction was commenced against Facebook and another party in relation to what was placed on the site by this third party.

"That involved images of my client, threats against him and allegations of his wrongdoing which have no foundation."

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