New Mexico Sues Meta and Mark Zuckerberg for Enabling Child Sexual Exploitation: Undercover Investigation Uncovers Alarming Findings

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New Mexico has taken legal action against Meta and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, accusing them of knowingly exposing children to sexual exploitation and causing mental health harm. The state’s Attorney General’s Office conducted an undercover investigation, setting up fake accounts of minors to uncover illicit content on Meta’s platforms.

Attorney General Raúl Torrez emphasized that instead of being safe spaces, METa’s social media platforms have become hotspots for predators to trade child pornography and solicit minors for sexual purposes. The lawsuit comes shortly after Instagram, owned by Meta, allowed explicit hashtags like #pedowhore and #preteensex, enabling pedophiles to connect with accounts advertising child-sex materials under names like “little slut for you.”

The investigation uncovered alarming findings:

Underage users were consistently exposed to sexually explicit images, even when they showed no interest in such content.
Adults could easily find, contact, and coerce children into sharing explicit photos or participating in pornographic videos.
Suggestions for children to join unmoderated Facebook groups promoting commercial sex were rampant.
The platforms facilitated the discovery, sharing, and sale of a large volume of child pornography.
A fake account posing as a mother offered her 13-year-old daughter for sale to sex traffickers and created a page for the daughter to share revenue from advertisements.
AG Torrez expressed serious concerns about Meta executives’ awareness of these dangers to young users. Despite their knowledge, they allegedly failed to implement sufficient changes to protect children from sexual exploitation. He criticized Meta’s executives, including Mark Zuckerberg, for prioritizing engagement and advertising revenue over safeguarding vulnerable members of society.

The complaint, spanning 228 pages and including distressing evidence, highlights the prevalence of exploitative content on Facebook and and Instagram, surpassing rates seen on adult platforms like Pornhub and OnlyFans. Florida’s Attorney General Ashley Moody had previously called for Zuckerberg to testify before the State’s Human Trafficking Council after a report revealed Meta platforms as frequently used by human traffickers. Florida’s investigation aimed to assess social media platforms’ roles in human trafficking within the state, revealing Meta’s platforms as the most commonly used by traffickers, prompting serious concerns about their impact.

This legal action against Meta is not the first; previous instances have highlighted Facebook’s vulnerabilities as a breeding ground for sexual predators. Both New Mexico and Florida’s moves underscore a growing concern about the safety of young users and the responsibility of social media platforms in curbing exploitation and ensuring a secure online environment.

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