NMDOJ: New docs show Meta employees’ internal concerns over child safety
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Department of Justice filed new court documents showing concerns Meta employees raised about child safety on its platforms.
The New Mexico Department of Justice filed these documents Wednesday just over a month after announcing a lawsuit against the social media giant.
New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez said these findings show executives heard concerns from employees but didn’t do anything about it.
“By their own estimation, 100,000 children a day were receiving inappropriate adult content and they knew about it,” the attorney general claimed.
Documents show employees accused executives of opposing messaging safeguards and not consistently enforcing safety issues across all platforms – instead focusing on how to market features like Reels to teen users without first ensuring they had the necessary safeguards.
The new findings allegedly show a backlog of around 2.5 million potentially underage users whose accounts needed a review.
“The question now is, what can we achieve through this litigation to change the culture? And to fundamentally change the algorithm to change the business practices?” AG Torrez said.
We reached out to Meta and a spokesperson responded with this statement:
“We have over 30 tools to support teens and their parents. We’ve spent a decade working on these issues and hiring people who have dedicated their careers to keeping young people safe and supported online. The complaint mischaracterizes our work using selective quotes and cherry-picked documents.”
The spokesperson added they’ve since updated safeguards. That includes not letting adults message minors they don’t know.
Meta filed a motion to move the case to federal court. However, AG Torrez says they need to be held accountable in New Mexico.
“We’re not going to hold them to a lower standard or a higher standard than we do a mom-and-pop business here in the state of New Mexico. But if they’re going to engage in commerce here, they have to play by the rules. They have to follow our law. And if they break New Mexico law, they need to be held accountable in New Mexico court,” the attorney general said.
Torrez added state lawmakers could take action to hold companies liable.
“Perhaps, in the next 60 days session, there’ll be an opportunity for us to dig into ways in which the state of New Mexico can better regulate some of the technology companies that frankly, have proven themselves incapable of self-regulation,” he said.
However, some lawmakers are already working on efforts to address these matters during the ongoing session. A state senator and a state representative have filed legislation to further protect minors online.