Facebook sued for keeping dead body photos

Facebook photos: their right? Or our right?
Facebook photos: their right? Or our right?

Caroline Wimmer was brutally beaten and murdered by Calvin Lawson in her home in 2009. While Lawson was sentenced to 25 years to life this past summer, Wimmer’s parents’ legal battles continue over the photos of Wimmer’s dead body that were then posted onto Facebook.

Mark Musarella, the EMT worker who handled her corpse and then uploaded the images, pleaded guilty.

But now that the two main offenders in the case are put away, Caroline Wimmer’s parents have pressed charges against Facebook itself.

The Wimmers aren’t asking for cash. They want the images returned to them, and for the images to be destroyed on Facebook, as well as a list of “the identities of any Facebook users who accessed or downloaded Ms. Wimmer’s photos,” which seems to be taking it a bit too far.

Once part of Facebook, the images are public and it the people who took part in that public interaction aren’t guilty of anything and shouldn’t be involved in this case. Most of the people who saw the image were probably disturbed enough by seeing them.

But the family’s attorney, and the Wimmers themselves, don’t see it that way, and make a couple of valid points about the need for Facebook to be more accountable.

“If they’re uploading ten million shots a month, well maybe they need to hire. America needs jobs, maybe they need to hire screeners of these images. And if a picture looks like somebody is dead, immediately delete it and notify the member! What are you doing? Something’s wrong.”

Facebook’s only response so far has been cold and corporate.

“The case is without merit and we will fight it vigorously.”

Video: Facebook sued after paramedic posts dead body photo.

Source: The Village Voice, Facebook Sued by Grieving Staten Island Parents

 

Caroline Wimmer

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Categories: Business, People, Science, Technology

Author:Andrew Beato

CEO, Chief Editor and founder of Intentious. Passionate comment enthusiast, amateur philosopher, Quora contributor, audiobook and general knowledge addict.

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2 Comments on “Facebook sued for keeping dead body photos”

  1. James Herron
    March 30, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    The case is without merit. Websites such as facebook are not legally liable for illegal activity that users may post up. They have a duty to remove illegal content or content that violates their own terms of services once they are aware of it, but their duty ends there. Moreover, this case simply demonstrates how unfamiliar many people are with the Internet and the implications of posting any kind of content online. It is not simply a matter of “destroying” the photos, because anybody that viewed them could have potentially saved them and could rebroadcast them at any time. Attempting to suppress images like these often creates a backlash where these images are aggressively spammed in defiance of any attempted suppression known as the Streisand effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect). This particular case is tragic because the family are truly blameless. However, there is little that can be done to remove the images from the web, and the person truly at fault is the EMT that published the photos, not facebook.

  2. Anonymous
    August 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    No offense. That is the problem with the me-generation now. A brutal murder was committed. Just its the internet does not release you from liabilities both, legal and moral obligations to respect the family wishes. I concur with the families demand for Facebook to take responsible action in the matter.

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