Pension and investment funds have filed a complaint against Meta for having “turned a blind eye” to human trafficking and pedocrime on its Facebook and Instagram social networks, already accused of numerous evils by the authorities.
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“For the past decade, Meta’s applications have aided, supported and facilitated the task of criminals responsible for pimping, human trafficking and pedocrime that have taken place on a large scale on the platforms” of the Californian group, accuses the complaint filed Monday in a Delaware court, specializing in business law.
“Substantial evidence shows that the board of directors turned a blind eye when it knew, as did the management of the company, of this growing phenomenon”, continue the lawyers of the signatory funds, which hold shares. at Meta.
They claim that traffickers use the platforms to lure, recruit and exploit victims, who are underage and adult users of Facebook and Instagram, “whose lives are forever devastated”.
Meta “clearly prohibits the exploitation of humans and the sexual exploitation of children,” Andy Stone, spokesperson for the social media giant, reacted on Tuesday to AFP.
“The assertions in this complaint do not reflect our efforts to combat this type of activity. Our goal is to prevent people who seek to exploit humans from using our platform, and we work closely with organizations like Polaris, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Stop the Traffik.” he adds.
But according to the complaint, Meta’s board “failed to explain how it seeks to eradicate the problem,” and the only “logical conclusion” is that “the board consciously decided to allow Meta’s platforms to promote and to facilitate this traffic.
Mark Zuckerberg’s group is already facing numerous lawsuits in other areas, including the mental health of children and adolescents.
American elected officials and child protection associations accuse applications particularly popular among young people like Instagram (but also YouTube or TikTok) of creating addiction, self-esteem problems or facilitating online harassment.
These accusations took on a new dimension when, in the fall of 2021, ex-Facebook employee Frances Haugen leaked internal documents showing that the leaders of the platform were aware of certain risks for minors.
The whistleblower and NGOs believe that Meta puts profits before users.
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