The New Mexico Attorney General, Raúl Torrez, has initiated a lawsuit against the social media giant Meta, accusing it of facilitating child trafficking on its platforms. Torrez expressed his concern, stating, “Meta is the ‘largest marketplace for predators and pedophiles globally.’”
This legal action coincides with congressional hearings where Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, along with other executives, is being questioned about their platforms’ role in online child sexual exploitation.
Torrez’s investigation into Meta has revealed alarming findings, suggesting a significant problem with child sexual exploitation on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. He mentioned, “There was an explosion of sexual interest from users attracted to the undercover accounts,” highlighting the severity of the issue. Internal documents from Meta have estimated that around 100,000 children face sexual harassment on Facebook and Instagram daily.
The lawsuit aims to hold Meta accountable for its alleged failure to prevent the use of its platforms for harmful activities against children. Torrez emphasized the need for Meta to prioritize user safety, especially for children, stating, “Fundamentally, we’re trying to get Meta to change how it does business and prioritize the safety of its users.”
Meta has defended its practices, asserting that it employs sophisticated technology and experts to combat child exploitation, reporting harmful content to relevant authorities and disabling accounts that violate its child safety policies.
This legal battle, still in its early stages, seeks to bring about significant changes in how Meta operates, with a focus on enhancing the safety and protection of its youngest users.