Facebook Bikini Picture Sparks Georgia Lawsuit

Almost nothing good is likely to come out of the latest student and school example of Facebook gone awry.

A Fayette County, GA student is suing her former school district after a very strange series of events. The student, Chelsea Chaney, who is now a UGA freshman, had at some point taken a photo of herself in a bikini on a family vacation and posted it to Facebook.

Screen Shot 2013-06-21 at 9.07.43 AMLater, she learned that a school administrator had used the photo at a district-wide assembly on internet safety without her permission, as an example of what students should not be doing on social media. The picture was seen by hundreds of students and parents, and was labeled in the presentation, “Once it’s there, it’s there to stay.”

Chaney is suing for $2 million in damages. I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t think this lawsuit is going anywhere. Chaney made the error of either not understanding her Facebook privacy settings, or thinking that there is actually some protection from others using a picture that you post to the internet. Clearly the school district screwed up, and this could probably be considered a form of bullying. The school officials who chose to use it made a very careless decision. It wasn’t a $2 million decision.

A link to the WSB TV video can be found here.


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