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New Mexico Lawsuit Alleges Facebook and Instagram Facilitated Child Sexual Abuse and Trafficking

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New Mexico Lawsuit Alleges Facebook and Instagram Enabled Child Sexual Abuse and Trafficking

New Mexico's attorney general has filed a civil suit against Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, alleging that the platforms created "prime locations" for sexual predators, enabling child sexual abuse, solicitation, and trafficking. The suit comes after an undercover investigation allegedly uncovered numerous instances of sexually explicit content being served to minors, child sexual coercion, and the sale of child sexual abuse material (CSAM). According to the attorney general, certain child exploitative content is reportedly ten times more prevalent on Facebook and Instagram compared to adult content platforms like PornHub and OnlyFans.

Meta's Response and Coordinated Legal Actions

Meta has responded to the allegations, stating that the company deploys sophisticated technology, hires child safety experts, and collaborates with law enforcement and other organizations to combat online predators. The New Mexico lawsuit follows coordinated legal actions by 42 other attorneys general in October, which claimed that Facebook and Instagram targeted and addicted children and teenagers.

Violations of Unfair Practice Act and Allegations Against Meta

The New Mexico suit specifically accuses Meta and Zuckerberg of violating the state's Unfair Practice Act. The four-count suit alleges that the company and its CEO engaged in unfair trade practices by facilitating the distribution of CSAM and the trafficking of minors, ultimately jeopardizing the health and safety of New Mexican children. The lawsuit argues that Meta's algorithms promote sex and exploitation content to users and that Facebook and Instagram lack effective age verification measures. Additionally, the suit alleges that the company failed to identify child sexual exploitation networks and prevent suspended users from rejoining the platform using new accounts.

Seeking Civil Penalties and Reforms

New Mexico is seeking civil penalties and demanding that Meta implement effective age verification, enhance its detection and removal systems for CSAM, and address the alleged functionalities that amplify the distribution of such content. The state aims to hold Meta accountable for the prevention of child sexual exploitation and to ensure the safety of young users on their platforms. In conclusion, the New Mexico lawsuit against Meta highlights the serious allegations of enabling child sexual abuse and trafficking on Facebook and Instagram. The outcome of this legal action could have significant implications for the platforms, potentially leading to reforms and stricter measures to protect vulnerable users from exploitation.

Implications of New Mexico Lawsuit Against Meta for New Business Formations

The recent lawsuit filed by New Mexico's attorney general against Meta, alleging that Facebook and Instagram have enabled child sexual abuse and trafficking, could have profound implications for new businesses in the digital space. The suit claims that Meta's platforms have become hotspots for sexual predators, serving explicit content to minors and facilitating child sexual coercion.

Meta's Defense and Precedent Legal Actions

Meta's defense, which involves the use of sophisticated technology and collaboration with law enforcement, underscores the importance of robust safety measures for new businesses. It also highlights the potential legal risks, as seen in the coordinated actions by 42 other attorneys general who argued that Facebook and Instagram target and addict young users.

Unfair Practice Act Violations and Accusations Against Meta

The specific accusations against Meta and Zuckerberg for violating New Mexico's Unfair Practice Act underscore the legal responsibilities of businesses, especially in the digital domain. The allegations of facilitating the distribution of CSAM and trafficking minors, coupled with the claim of ineffective age verification measures, underscore the need for businesses to prioritize user safety and adhere to ethical practices.

Demands for Reforms and Civil Penalties

New Mexico's demands for civil penalties and reforms, including effective age verification and improved detection systems for CSAM, highlight the potential legal and financial consequences for businesses that fail to prioritize user safety. This lawsuit serves as a stark reminder for new businesses of the importance of implementing robust safety measures and maintaining ethical standards to avoid legal repercussions and protect their user base.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/12/06/facebook-content-enabled-child-sexual-abuse-new-mexico-lawsuit.html
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