Published Friday, 01 March 2013
The ruling was made on Friday morning. (© Getty)
A High Court judge ruled on Friday that there was no effective method of ensuring the 13-year-old did not gain access.
But the social media giant's claim to being powerless to stop the girl going onto the site will be probed further, he warned.
Referring to the company's defence, Mr Justice McCloskey said: "It has created something of a monster which it alleges it cannot control.
"This policy of impotence will be subjected to intense judicial scrutiny. Not least because the proceedings involve a child."
Facebook is facing legal action over the girl using the site to have highly sexualised contact with men.
Iits policy states that no-one under 13 is allowed to be a member.
But lawyers for the schoolgirl's father claim that an open registration system allows children to log-in and could put them at risk from paedophiles.
The girl, who is subject to a care order, has reportedly posted suggestive images of herself on it since she was 12. She has used up to four different accounts on the site and been in exchanges with a man who is restrained from any contact with her.
It [Facebook] has created something of a monster which it alleges it cannot control.
Mr Justice McCloskey
As part of the case, the girl's father sought an injunction compelling Facebook to take all necessary steps to prevent her using the site or publishing images on it.
Her barrister, Peter Girvan, claimed there has been a breach of her privacy.
He contended that her highly sexualised contact with men on the site was degrading, abusive and harassing. The open registration system is flawed because 13-year-olds cannot enter a contract or legally consent to their data being used, it was argued.
Ruling on the injunction application, Mr Justice McCloskey set out the huge numbers on Facebook - including half a million users in Ireland alone.
He held that the application was misconceived and incapable of effective supervision or enforcement.
"The injunction is simply not viable, since the plaintiff could conceivably disguise her true identity under millions of guises," the judge said.
He also pointed out that there was no evidence that any material which could expose the girl to risk had been published since the summer of 2012.
But Mr Justice McCloskey stressed that his determination "is not to be construed as an endorsement of Facebook's defence or acceptance of its policy of impotence".
A full hearing of the legal action, which has also been taken against a number of public authorities, is due to take place later this year.