In a recent turn of events a judge in Houston as ordered to proceed sex trafficking lawsuit against Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram.
Earlier two teen who feel Facebook didn’t do enough to save them from being trafficked after meeting sex predators on their platforms has filed a lawsuit citing Facebook profits from data collected by algorithms that promote interactions between users, including those between minors and sexual predators.
Facebook wanted to have the lawsuit dismissed.
But the judge denied requests to throw out the pair of lawsuits targeting Facebook and Instagram and ordered to proceed with necessary actions.
This is a first of kind judgement in the country to allow individuals to sue companies for the behavior of third parties on their web platforms after Congress carved out an exemption to the Communications Decency Act for sex trafficking in 2018.
Facebook responded saying, despite the new law, it remains immune because third-party communications led to the teens’ victimization, not the platform itself. The company declined to comment on the litigation, but said it does not endorse sex trafficking.
“Human trafficking is abhorrent and is not allowed on Facebook,” according to a written statement attributed to a `Facebook Spokesperson.’”
“We use technology to thwart this kind of abuse and we encourage people to use the reporting links found across our site so that our team of experts can review the content swiftly,” the company said. “Facebook also works closely with anti-trafficking organizations and other technology companies, and we report all apparent instances of child sexual exploitation to NCMEC.”
However, the Texas court rejected the company’s argument.
Unamned victim said that the company’s “morally bankrupt corporate culture” exposed her to an online pimp who drew her into a child sex-trafficking ring.
The other is a 14-year-old girl who says she was groomed and sold in 2018 by a man she met on the social media site. He allegedly abused her, then trafficked her for three weeks.