Your twelve year old daughter has decided that your next door neighbour is funny to watch.  Admittedly, he is not the most graceful or thinnest man in the world and sometimes acts a little strange on his front lawn. 

Your daughter thinks his actions are so funny that she decides to videotape him.  On this particular day, your neighbour is struggling with his garbage bin, eventually becoming so frustrated that he begins kicking it.  Thinking that others might enjoy laughing at this man, your daughter posts the video on YouTube.  The video quickly racks up a large number of views.  Others do clearly enjoy laughing at this man!

A few days later you get a knock at your door.  It is your next door neighbour, and he is not happy.  By now he and his friends, family and colleagues have all seen the video.  He obviously finds it extremely embarrassing.  He questions you on why your daughter would post this: does she have something personally against him?  He requests that the video be taken down. 
He also tells you that if it happens again, he will have no choice but to sue you for personal damages.  You, who had no idea this was happening, apologise profusely, and promise to talk to your daughter and get the video offline.  You promise that it will not happen again. 

Later, you talk to your daughter and ask her why she posted it.  Clearly, she just thought the man was funny and had no concept of the damage she was causing.  You explain to her why her actions were wrong and ask her to take the video down.  You make her promise not to tape him again or repost the video.

The next day, your daughter sees your neighbour warding off a swarm of bees that begin attacking him while he is pruning his hedges.  It is so funny to watch, she cannot stop herself from grabbing the video camera.  Somehow, the video ends up on YouTube.

The next day, you get another knock on the door.  It is your neighbour and his lawyer, who hands you a civil suit . . .

(Adapted from the TV show Medium, Season Six Episode 8: "Once in a Lifetime")

Could this happen in real life?

The Star Wars Kid

On November 3, 2002, Canadian high school student Ghyslian Raza made a video of himself wielding a golf ball retriever around like a lightsaber from Star Wars. The video was filmed at his high school studio, and the tape left in the basement. 

The video was later discovered by a schoolmate, who showed it to his friend, who created an electronic file from the video tape. The video was distributed amongst his school's students when it reached a fourth student, who uploaded it to the internet and eventually it became a viral meme. 

An edited version of the video was created, adding Star Wars music, texts, and lightsaber lights and sounds to his golf ball retriever. As of November 27, 2006 it was estimated that the video had been viewed over 900 million times.  As of 2010, the first copy of this video that was posted on YouTube had over 18 million views.

Raza suffered extreme humiliation, harassment and bullying from the video.  It left him so traumatised that he became depressed, dropped out of school and entered a children's psychiatric ward.

In July 2003, Raza's family filed a $250,000 lawsuit against the families of four of his schoolmates who uploaded the video. The lawsuit stated in part that he "had to endure, and still endures today, harassment and derision from his high-school mates and the public at large" and "will be under psychiatric care for an indefinite amount of time." 

Before the lawsuit began, however, the two parties reached an out-of-court settlement that was never disclosed to the public.

Clearly, lawsuits over privacy breaches CAN and DO happen in real life, and young people are not immune.