In December of last year, the state of New Mexico sued Meta for failing to protect children, claiming that Facebook and Instagram algorithms recommend sexual content to minors. An unredacted internal Meta presentation has now been released, in which its own employees estimate that 100,000 child users were harassed dailyThe Wall Street Journal reported.
According to an internal document from 2021, the algorithm was People you may know of Facebook singled out as the main link between children and predators. When employees reported the findings to Meta management, it reportedly rejected the recommendation that the algorithm be reworked so that he stops recommending adults to minors.
According to one of the employees, this function was responsible for 75% of all inappropriate contacts between adults and minors. According to an internal memo from 2020, there were problems more prominent on Instagramwhere conversations with a sexual context occurred 38 times more often than on Facebook Messenger.
New Mexico claims that Meta has failed to address widespread predatory attacks on its platform, particularly related to recommendation algorithms. State investigators originally created fake child accounts and put adults’ dates of birth on them because children often give incorrect ages to access online services that are prohibited to them. They then suggested that the accounts were being used by children, with one posting about losing a baby tooth and starting seventh grade. The lawsuit alleged, among other things, that they were sent to the accounts sexual images of children and offers for paid sex.
The state further claims that Met management has only taken measures to limit adult predation on minors until the end of 2022 and is still not implementing the strict measures recommended by safety officials. Instead, it only tried to block offers to adults who had previously shown suspicious behavior towards children. However, according to a study by Meta 99% of accounts blocked for child molestation do not disclose their age.
Meta recently introduced measures for teenage Instagram and Facebook users, including preventing non-followers from messaging them and blocking offensive comments. In addition to the complaint from New Mexico, the company faces Meta I sue from 41 stateswhich complain that it harms the mental health of the youngest users.