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French judge overrules Facebook’s TOS

For many Europeans who feel strongly connected to the US it is hard to understand why American censors seem to have no problem with pictures of violence on the Internet, whereas they are utterly allergic to images showing something as harmless as a nipple.

So much so that they use their Terms of Service as a tool to delete pages and profiles containing nudity.

It seems to be no problem for Facebook to host pages for the Ku Klux Clan or groups who want to tell the world that homosexuals are mentally ill and should be hunted down. That is a celebration of freedom as far as the largest social network is concerned.

A Frenchman, whose name has not been disclosed, filed a complaint against Facebook in a French court, arguing that his rights to free speech had been compromised because the social network could not distinguish pornography from art. The painting in question L’Origine du Monde, by Gustave Courbet, is on display at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

Facebook lawyers argued that – according to their Terms of Services – such cases could only be heard in California courts. The French high court disagreed, stating that the clause is abusive.

‘This decision will create jurisprudence for other social media and other internet giants who use their being headquartered abroad, mainly in the United States, to attempt to evade French law,’ Stephane Cottineau, the teacher’s lawyer, said following the decision. The teacher is seeking €20,000 ($21,900) in damages, according to French daily Le Figaro.

Source: The Verge with special thanks to Laura Henkel owner of Sin City Gallery, Las Vegas.