100K children get sexually harassed daily on FB, Insta: Meta documents

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A recent legal case revolving around child abuse on Meta’s Facebook and Instagram platforms has brought to light disturbing revelations.

The case, which originated from a complaint filed by the attorney general of New Mexico and is part of an ongoing legal battle against the social media giant, disclosed that an internal company estimate from 2021 indicated that as many as 100,000 children were daily subjected to sexual harassment on these platforms. The abuse included the circulation of explicit images of adult genitalia.

According to CNBC, the details emerged from recently unsealed sections of the complaint. It highlights the challenges Meta faces in safeguarding minors on its platforms, which have gained enormous traction among the youth.

In one section of the complaint, a description of a 2020 internal company chat on Meta was included. In this chat, an employee inquired about the company’s efforts regarding child grooming, specifically mentioning concerns observed on TikTok. Shockingly, the response from a colleague indicated a lack of attention to child safety, stating, “Somewhere between zero and negligible. Child safety is an explicit non-goal this half.”

The complaint also revealed Meta executives’ rapid response to a complaint made by an Apple executive in the same year.

The Apple executive reported that their 12-year-old child had been solicited on Facebook. Despite Meta’s claims to have fixed many of the identified issues, the lawsuit alleges that Facebook and Instagram failed to protect underage users from online predators.

Meta employees purportedly urged the company to implement safety changes, which were allegedly neglected due to Meta’s prioritization of social media engagement and advertising growth over child safety.

Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s founder and CEO, is named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Additionally, a US judge has ruled that Zuckerberg must participate in a deposition as part of an ongoing lawsuit in Texas related to the company’s face recognition technology.

The ruling rejected Meta’s recent appeal seeking relief from an order compelling Zuckerberg’s oral deposition at an undisclosed date. The case underscores the challenges and legal scrutiny Meta faces concerning child safety and its business practices.

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