Court orders woman to remove honeymoon photos from Facebook

A husband takes his wife to court in Italy. He objects to their honeymoon photos being made public.

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At least an Italian court thinks you should. BuzzFeedVideo/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

What happens in marriages stays in marriages.

Until, of course, it shows up on Facebook.

Then everyone knows, everyone likes and everyone comments behind the couple's backs.

In Naples, Italy, one husband decided to take a stand against his wife posting their intimate marital photos on Facebook. Well, when I say "intimate," there were one or two hugging and kissing pictures.

These, you see, were their honeymoon photos from 10 years ago.

He was so miffed that she'd bared them to the public that he took her to court. This was clearly a happy marriage.

As The Local reports, relying on the extremely local Il Mattino, the husband objected that the photos had been displayed "without his permission."

I can feel the worldwide rolling of eyes and snorting through noses at the concept that a wife needs her husband's permission to do anything.

Some, though, might find the woman's argument a touch troubling. Her lawyer offered that "the use of social networks is now so advanced that we can consider a Facebook wall to be not unlike a private photo album."

We can debate the "advanced" nature of social networks until our third marriages have gone stale.

However, Mark Zuckerberg's constantly changing notions of privacy -- summarized as "whatever suits Facebook's business at the time" -- have meant that Facebook has often seemed far more like the town square than a private photo album.

The Naples court, indeed, sided with the husband. It decided that his privacy had been violated and his delicate self-worth had been immolated.

Actually, that second part was merely my frisky imagination. However, the photos must now be removed and the woman may even have to pay a fine. (As if the price of hiring a lawyer wasn't enough.)

The court reached for a law from 1941. It insisted that anyone displaying, reproducing or selling a photo of someone else needed their permission first. On Facebook, the court said, there simply are no guarantees that something supposedly private actually is.

I can see thousands of loving Neapolitans furiously untagging and deleting photos as we speak. Some may even be from the Mafia, whose younger members have recently exposed their heady lifestyles on Facebook.

What, though, might have happened to the couple after this case? Did they kiss, make up and fly to the Seychelles for a second honeymoon? Or did they unfriend each other on Facebook?

I can find no mention of their fate. One worries, though, that as their argument reached a court, there may have been serious issues in their relationship that not even their Facebook friends could solve.

 

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