Belfast’s Johns Elliot defeated as sex offender wins case against Facebook

Belfast-based Johns Elliot has lost a High Court order for Facebook as the social networking site is given 72 hours to remove a Facebook page that identifies pedophiles in Northern Ireland.

The order comes after a convicted sex offender, known only as XY, issued proceedings against Facebook after finding his photo and threatening comments on the page.

Represented by Northern Irish firm DR Brewster the man claimed harassment, misuse of private information, and a breach of his right to privacy as a result of the content, which had over 4,000 followers.

It is undertood that the claimant found his information on the page after serving a six-year jail term. “Society has dealt with the plaintiff in accordance with the rule of law,” said Mr Justice McCloskey.

Facebook turned to Belfast-based Johns Elliot for external legal advice, with the head of the firm’s litigation department Ronnie Robinson leading. At the time of writing it appeared the site had taken down the page, which was titled “Keeping our kids safe from predators,” although a new one seemed to have already been set up by users of the last group.

A Facebook spokesperson told BBC News that they were “considering our next steps in light of the court’s judgments”.

The full judgment will be made available next week.