by Debra Heine
New Mexico is suing Facebook and Instagram for creating “prime locations” for sexual predators to share child sexual abuse, solicitation, and trafficking content.
NM Attorney General Raúl Torrez filed a civil suit filed against Meta and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, alleging that “certain child exploitative content” is ten times “more prevalent” on Facebook and Instagram than on pornography site PornHub and the adult content platform OnlyFans.
Torrez (pictured above) said in a press release that the suit was brought after an “undercover investigation” revealed multiple instances of sexually explicit content being served to minors, according to CNBC. That content included child sexual coercion and the sale of child sexual abuse material (CSAM).
New Mexico’s suit alleges Meta and Zuckerberg violated the state’s Unfair Practice Act.
The four-count suit alleges that the company and Zuckerberg engaged in “unfair trade practices” by facilitating the distribution of CSAM and the trafficking of minors, and undermined the health and safety of New Mexican children.
The lawsuit argues that Meta’s algorithms allegedly promote sex and exploitation content to users and that Facebook and Instagram lack “effective” age verification. The suit also alleges that the company failed to identify child sexual exploitation “networks” and to fully prevent users it had suspended for those violations from rejoining the platform using new accounts
“In one month alone, we disabled more than half a million accounts for violating our child safety policies,” a Meta spokesperson claimed in the company’s defense.
“Child exploitation is a horrific crime and online predators are determined criminals,” Meta said in a statement to CNBC.
According to a company spokesperson, Meta uses “sophisticated technology, hires child safety experts, reports content to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and shares information and tools with other companies and law enforcement, including state attorneys general, to help root out predators.”
“Mr. Zuckerberg and other Meta executives are aware of the serious harm their products can pose to young users, and yet they have failed to make sufficient changes to their platforms that would prevent the sexual exploitation of children,” Torres said in the release.
New Mexico is seeking civil penalties and is asking Meta to implement an effective age verification system, as well as improve its detection and removal system for CSAM.
The suit follows legal actions against Meta by 42 other attorneys general in October alleging that Facebook and Instagram directly targeted and were addictive to children and teens.
Facebook faced coordinated advertiser boycotts in 2020 after it refused to censor a post that contained Donald Trump’s “When the looting starts, the shooting starts” quip, as well as a post by Trump that criticized the violent months-long Black Lives Matter “CHAZ” occupation in Seattle, Washington. But so far, no advertisers have reacted to allegations that Mega facilitates child sexual abuse and exploitation.
In recent weeks, Elon Musk’s X has been subjected to intense, coordinated boycotts after Musk agreed to a post that claimed Jews often foment hatred against white people. He has since apologized for saying that’s “the actual truth,” declaring it was “one of the most foolish” things he’d ever posted on X.
Musk also had a defiant message for Disney CEO Bob Iger, who had recently spoken about his decision to halt advertising on X after Musk supported the allegedly antisemitic comment on the platform.
Iger said that Disney “felt that the association was not necessarily a positive one for us.”
Musk responded, “Go f— yourself, is that clear? I hope it is. Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience. That’s how I feel. Don’t advertise.”
NEW – Elon Musk: "If someone is going to try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money, go fuck yourself. Go fuck yourself. Is that clear? I hope it is."pic.twitter.com/HtUJRsWS2I
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) November 29, 2023
Some X users are now wondering if Iger and other advertisers will be boycotting Facebook and Instagram.
“Why are advertisers still on Facebook and Instagram but have such a massive problem with X, which bans such content?,” asked Ian Miles Cheong.
“Yeah, why do their Chief Marketing Officers endorse child trafficking!?” Musk responded. “Let’s ask them.”
Yeah, why do their Chief Marketing Officers endorse child trafficking!?
Let’s ask them. https://t.co/2XhZxNybDm
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 7, 2023
“Disney is currently running 300 ads for Disneyland and Disney World on Meta,” noted conservative influencer Collin Rugg in a post about New Mexico’s lawsuit against Meta.
“Crazy that Disney has to be sued to stop this terrible behavior,” Musk responded.
Crazy that Disney has to be sued to stop this terrible behavior https://t.co/b28v3K7n2L
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 7, 2023
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Debra Heine reports for American Greatness.
Photo “Raul Torrez” by New Mexico Office of the Attorney General.