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Facebook, Instagram Face Child Exploitation Claims In Nm Lawsuit

Dec 8, 2023 | News | 0 comments


Attorney General Alleges Alarming Prevalence of Child Exploitative Content

Ral Torrez, the Attorney General of New Mexico, has launched a civil claim against Meta and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, stating that Facebook and Instagram provided “prime locations” for sexual predators, aiding child sexual abuse, solicitation, and trafficking. According to the lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday, an undercover investigation revealed several instances of sexually explicit materials being supplied to juveniles, child sexual coercion, and the sale of child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

Child Exploitation 10x More Common Than Adult Sites

According to the press release, the suit asserts that “certain child exploitative content” is ten times more prevalent on Facebook and Instagram than on well-known adult content platforms such as PornHub and OnlyFans. This startling revelation raises serious concerns about the platforms’ role in facilitating illegal activities related to child exploitation.

Meta Responds, Promises Vigilance Against Online Predators

The company claimed to deploy sophisticated technology, hire child safety experts, report content to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and collaborate with law enforcement to root out predators. However, the lawsuit suggests that these efforts have fallen short in preventing the proliferation of child exploitative content.

Lawsuit Focuses on Violations of Unfair Practice Act

In contrast to the coordinated legal actions by 42 other attorneys general in October, New Mexico’s suit specifically alleges violations of the state’s Unfair Practice Act. The four-count suit contends that Meta and Zuckerberg engaged in “unfair trade practices” by facilitating the distribution of CSAM and the trafficking of minors, ultimately endangering the health and safety of New Mexican children.

Call for Accountability – New Mexico Seeks Penalties and Platform Reforms

The lawsuit demands civil penalties and calls for Meta to implement effective age verification, enhance its detection and removal systems for (CSAM), and address alleged functionalities that amplify the distribution of exploitative content.

New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez emphasized that Meta’s executives, including Mr. Zuckerberg, are aware of the harm their products can pose to young users, yet have failed to make sufficient changes to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.

Legal Battle Exposes Social Media’s Dark Realities

As the legal battle unfolds, it brings to light the significant challenges social media platforms face in curbing the rampant spread of child exploitative content. The outcome of the lawsuit may set a precedent for holding tech giants accountable for their role in facilitating illegal activities and protecting vulnerable users, especially minors, from harm.

Meta is currently facing dozens of lawsuits alleging that its platforms undermine children’s mental health. In January, Mr. Zuckerberg and the CEOs of many other big social platforms will appear before the US Senate “about their failure to protect children online.”

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