The issue of abuse and how it relates to our everyday lives was again highlighted in a new ruling in the High Court in Northern Ireland. An unidentified woman has succeeded in obtaining an order against Facebook which requires them to freeze access to accounts held by two individuals. This comes in parallel proceedings to a claim by the lady against the individuals for damages for breach of privacy. This order bans the users from accessing or altering their accounts in any way.
We are all aware of the positive and negative uses of social media. Current Inquiries in to non-recent abuse are using social media as a way of making their work known to a wider audience. In fact, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse twitter page (@IICSA_media) has over 1200 followers and the hashtag #CSAInquiry is used widely by those commenting on the Inquiry.
However social media use has also resulted in online bullying and trolling with reports of young people driven to take their own lives due to comments and campaigns on such platforms as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Sexting and revenge porn posts, trolling, online blackmail and anonymous abusive posts are a new phenomenon not even contemplated a few years ago. Light hearted comments between friends, always intended to be private, can be hurtful to others who see them inadvertently.