The state of New Mexico has sued Meta, its platforms and CEO Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly allowing its sites to become “a marketplace for predators in search of children upon whom to prey.”
The lawsuit filed by the state’s attorney general, Raul Torrez, accuses Instagram and Facebook of becoming a “breeding ground” for predators using the sites to sex-traffic, groom and solicit sexual images from minors.
The suit also claims Meta uses certain algorithms to keep young users on the app and others to push explicit content to children, fostering the “twin dangers” of sexual exploitation and mental health harm done to children on its platforms.
NEW: New Mexico has sued Meta & Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly enabling child s*xual abuse material to be distributed.
Hey @RobertIger & other advertisers: Will you be suspending advertising on Facebook & Instagram like you did with X?
Disney is currently running ~300 ads for… pic.twitter.com/2OK1W29P2i
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) December 7, 2023
“Meta’s business model of profit over child safety and business practices of misrepresenting the amount of dangerous material and conduct to which its platforms expose children violates New Mexico law,” the lawsuit states.
“Meta should be held accountable for the harms it has inflicted on New Mexico’s children and be required to make its platforms as safe for children as the law requires.”
Torrez had his office test Meta’s child safety standards by setting up fake accounts on its platforms. They claim this practice showed proof of the dangerous material recommended for young users and the ease with which adults can find, message and groom minors.
In one case, Torrez’s office made a Facebook account as a 13-year-old girl, which quickly gained the maximum number of 5,000 friends — most of whom were male users between the ages of 18 and 40.
The lawsuit states the fake profile’s messages became filled with pictures and videos of pornographic content, but Meta denied reports that the messages violated their community standards.
“Meta’s conduct has turned New Mexico children who are on its platforms into victims. Meta’s motive for doing so is profit,” the lawsuit states.
“This action seeks to make social media safer for New Mexico’s children by holding Meta accountable for conduct that violates the New Mexico Unfair Practices Act and creates a public nuisance.”