Meta, the parent company of social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, is facing serious allegations of neglecting the safety of children using its platforms. According to internal company documents released as part of an unsealed legal filing, as many as 100,000 children on Meta’s social media platforms have experienced sexual harassment each day. The documents also revealed that Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been named as a defendant in the complaint.
The legal filing, which was part of a complaint to New Mexico’s attorney general office, accuses Meta of prioritizing growth over the safety of children using its platforms. The complaint alleges that Meta failed to take adequate steps to protect children from online predators, despite being aware of the severity and pervasiveness of the problem.
The internal estimates from 2021 show that scores of kids were sexually harassed online, including instances of the circulation of explicit images. The filing also revealed that children were being groomed online, and Meta had failed to take necessary action to address the issue.
In response to the allegations, a spokesperson for Meta claimed that the company has identified and rectified many problems related to child safety, disabling over half a million accounts that violated child safety policies. The spokesperson also stated that Meta has over 30 tools in place to support teens and their parents, and has dedicated resources to keeping young people safe and supported online.
Public opinion on the matter is divided, with some expressing outrage at Meta’s alleged negligence, while others are skeptical about the company’s claims of taking action to ensure the safety of children on its platforms. Many are calling for stricter regulations and oversight of social media platforms to prevent the exploitation and harassment of young users. The issue has sparked a wider conversation about the responsibilities of social media companies in protecting minors from online harm.