Yahoo Sued for Failure to Remove Dirty Pictures of User

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According to Cecilia Barnes, men have shown up at her place of employment in Oregon expecting to be able to have sex with her. Which is odd, because she’s not a sex therapist or a prostitute. Perhaps less odd, though, when you learn that, at least according to Barnes, her ex-boyfriend took nude photos of her, and then posted them in Yahoo user profiles, along with her email address and telephone number at work.

But that’s not all that he did, she says. Barnes also claims that he posed as her in Yahoo chat rooms, steering men towards the bogus profiles. She says that she first became aware of her ex’s activities when the men started turning up at work.


But where Barnes may feel that her ex-boyfriend did too much, in a $3million lawsuit against Yahoo, she claims that Yahoo did too little.

According to Barnes, she contacted Yahoo several times about the nude photos – which she says were taken without her knowledge and permission – and requested that they remove them. These requests were in writing, and received no active response. However in her lawsuit Barnes claims that she also spoke with Yahoo Director of Communications Mary Osako, and that during that conversation Osako assured her that the profiles would be removed.

However, according to all reports, the profiles, with their pictures, remain.

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John Morris, Director of Internet Standards, Technology and Policy for the Center for Democracy and Technology explains “For the postings by the boyfriend, there is no chance that Yahoo! has any liability. The greyer area is what happens after the woman notifies Yahoo! that nobody had permission to put them there.
Is Yahoo!, once notified, doing something improper? Probably not. Lots of cases have upheld the protection given by the 1996 Act. But it is not clear in terms of either statute or case law.”

Under the Safe Harbor act, ISPs are not responsible for content put up by their users. However, if the court finds that Osaka did make representations to Barnes that Yahoo would remove the offending material, then the case may not be so clear cut.

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13 thoughts on “Yahoo Sued for Failure to Remove Dirty Pictures of User

  1. so what is the law there ,when it comes to the ex boyfriend?
    i have nudes of my wife in public, if there taking in a public place ,hasn’t she giving up her right to privacy?

  2. lol….what do ya expect from such a lame ISP????
    nearly a year since they nuked me, but they STILL won’t remove my geocities account…or allow me to access it, other than ranking on yahoo in my (used to be mine) guestbook…yahoo sux, why do ya’ll find that surprising?????LOL

  3. plese LADY, get over it what’s done is done…. come get a job with us (BODYKISS FEMALE ADULT ESCORT/STRIPPIN SERVICE) (414)213-7286 {LOL}

  4. “Her ex-boyfriend took nude photos of her.” How could he of taken the picture? She most likly let him took the picture, and if you read the Yahoo! Terms of Service. It clearly states, “Please be aware that Yahoo! has created certain areas on the Service that contain adult or mature content. You must be at least 18 years of age to access and view such areas.” Also, when you make a “profile” you can put -ANYTHING- on it. Since it’s a public profile, and will be view by anyone on chat. So it isn’t Yahoo’s fault, I blame the woman since she probaly did let him take nude pictures of her. And since she did probaly let him, he can do -WHATEVER- he wants with them. Since she probaly allowed him to do it. =

  5. Of course she had to know. Boy friends don’t use concealed cameras. Only landlords do that.

  6. I dont know about you but i would notice someone taking pictures, while i was being sexually explicit with them. It is obvious that she knew the pictures were being taken.

    She is not suing the ex because he doesnt have millions of dollars, this is a pure and simple gold digging expedition.

  7. Sounds like a Money scam to me. Why is she not suing the Ex-boyfriend? Likely because he doesn’t have the $$$. Go after him

  8. If you will notice in the article, the pictures were taken WITHOUT her knowledge or consent. It does not sound like she is in this for the money or she would have contacted a lawyer before she contacted Yahoo to have the photos removed. I think the boyfriend should be brought up on criminal charges for taking the photos without consent.

  9. Maybe it is a scam to get money from Yahoo..After all she posed for the naughty pics for a guy..what did she expect, he would keep them in his scrap book?..Shame on her..Suspicious

  10. A verified ID? The only ‘verified ID’ that most of these big dog content providers understand is a credit card. When the puritan freaks went postal on MSN two years ago, they decided to use a credit card as the ‘verified ID’ method and it shut down a lot of really great communities because believe it or not, some people don’t have credit cards and don’t want them.

    Unless of course you’re talking about something else, but I can’t think of anything else. E-mail addresses are about as useful as a third armpit when it comes to verifying someones identity.

    MSN already proved what happens when you make people provide their credit card information to use a service – the service dies.

  11. A verified ID should be required before ANY porn – and all other PRIVATE materials – are posted anywhere on the web. This hurts no one – and provides not a lot of protection but a clear trail for liability and criminal and civil responsibility.

    Of course Yahoo SHOULD be criminally and civilly liable for leaving PRIVATE, clearly identified materials expose3d to the world after the OWNER of those materials & identity has notified Yahoo that the items are HER OWN and the owner requests them removed.

    Who could it hurt when someone requests materials be removed? ABsolutely no one but criminals. We simply cannot give perverts and sociopaths the right to wreck our privacy and our lives.

  12. As with all lawsuit’s its go after the $$$.. who has the most money.. She should actually get a court injunction to stop the boyfriend.. it doesn’t matter though as he could do it through proxies (his friends etc).. Yahoo/Google/MSN (et al) are not the bad person per se. It is this crappy boyfriend that needs to have his head examined

  13. I would be more worried about the ex boyfriend than I would YAHOO. He could post that crap anywhere else he wants to on the net before, during, and after this YAHOO case is resolved.

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