New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez has unveiled a lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, alleging that Facebook and Instagram are exposing children to explicit content and facilitating the activities of child predators. In a press release, AG Torrez stated, “Our investigation into Meta’s social media platforms demonstrates that they are not safe spaces for children but rather prime locations for predators to trade child pornography and solicit minors for sex.”
Torrez, a career prosecutor specializing in internet crimes against children, emphasized his commitment to using every available tool to halt these disturbing practices and hold companies accountable when prioritizing profits over children’s safety. The attorney general disclosed that an undercover investigation of Meta’s platforms was conducted over several months, involving the creation of decoy accounts for children aged 14 and younger.
The lawsuit outlines troubling findings, accusing Meta of proactively directing sexually explicit content to underage users, enabling adults to contact and pressure minors for explicit imagery, recommending participation in unmoderated Facebook groups facilitating commercial sex, and allowing the sharing and selling of a vast volume of child pornography.
Despite assurances to Congress and the public, Torrez alleges that Meta’s executives, including Mark Zuckerberg, are aware of the harm their products pose to young users and have failed to implement sufficient changes. The complaint asserts that Meta fails to remove Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) across its platforms and facilitates the solicitation of underage users for illicit content and participation in commercial sex.
The lawsuit also delves into the addictive design of Meta’s platform, claiming that it harms children and teenagers, degrading their mental health, self-worth, and physical safety. AG Torrez contends that certain exploitative content is over ten times more prevalent on Facebook and Instagram than on platforms like Pornhub and OnlyFans.
Highlighting the severity of the issue, Torrez’s office has chosen not to include many graphic and disturbing images found on Meta’s platforms in the complaint. The attorney general’s office encourages parents and children affected by sexual exploitation, addiction, depression, eating disorders, or other mental health issues due to social media use to share their experiences, fostering a collective effort to address these challenges.