Since a Facebook whistleblower released troves of internal documents last month detailing how the platform may cause harm to young users, the social media giant has been scrambling to contain the fallout. The latest example of this blowback came this week, when a state attorney general brought a massive lawsuit against the company for deceiving users and shareholders alike about its privacy and security policies.
According to the suit, which was brought on behalf of the state’s largest pension fund, the company knew that its platform was “riddled with flaws that sow dissension, facilitate illegal activity and violent extremism, and cause significant harm to users.” The attorney general went a step further, personally blaming Mark Zuckerberg for prioritizing profit over human beings.
“Facebook said it was looking out for our children and weeding out online trolls, but in reality was creating misery and divisiveness for profit,” Ohio attorney general Dave Yost said in a statement. “We are not people to Mark Zuckerberg, we are the product and we are being used against each other out of greed.”
These are strong words for a lawmaker, especially one with the power to bring legal action against a company. Time will tell if this case goes anywhere, but if nothing else, it’s a sign that politicians feel increasingly comfortable challenging the company to better protect its users — and that’s a good thing no matter what.
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