An American lawsuit against “Facebook” and “Instagram” over child harassment
The US state of New Mexico filed a lawsuit on Wednesday, accusing Facebook and Instagram of being “fertile ground” for users who target child molestation.
The new lawsuit comes less than two months after dozens of US states filed lawsuits against Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, for making profits “from children’s pain,” harming their mental health, and misleading people about the safety of its platforms.
“Our investigation into Meta’s social media platforms shows that they are not safe spaces for children but rather are prime sites for predators to traffic in child pornography,” New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez said in a statement.
Children can easily get around the age restrictions imposed by Facebook and Instagram by lying about their age when creating their accounts on the two platforms.
Once on social networks, children are targeted with “meta” software that not only seeks to keep them engaged on the platforms but directs them to age-inappropriate material, according to the complaint.
“Facebook and Instagram represent fertile ground for predators who target children for human trafficking, distribution of sexual images, and solicitation,” the lawsuit stated.
A Meta company spokesman said in response to an AFP inquiry: “Child exploitation is a horrific crime and online predators are determined criminals.”
He added that Meta’s battle against child molestation includes the use of advanced technology, and includes the use of experts in child safety and the exchange of information with other companies and law enforcement agencies.
Meta suspended more than 500,000 accounts last August alone for violating child safety policies, according to a team at the company dedicated to this area.
Another lawsuit filed by 33 US states last October stated that several Meta officials acknowledged that the company designed its products to exploit psychological deficiencies among young people, such as the tendency toward reckless behavior, their submission to peer pressure, and the reduction of risks. Other officials also acknowledged that the use of Facebook and Instagram had spread among children under the age of 13, even though they were not allowed to create accounts in the first place, as stated by company policy.
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