Zuckerberg Dodges A Bullet: Judge Tosses Some Lawsuit Claims Against Meta CEO In Youth Harm Litigation

Amid ongoing scrutiny over social media’s impact on youth, a recent court decision has brought some relief to Meta Platforms META CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

What Happened: On Monday, a judge partially dismissed claims against Zuckerberg in a series of lawsuits that charged him with concealing the potential harm of Facebook and Instagram to children, Reuters reported. The U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, California, ruled out certain allegations against Zuckerberg.

The litigation is part of a larger group of lawsuits filed by children alleging that addiction to social media platforms has caused them harm. Of these, 25 lawsuits specifically targeted Zuckerberg, accusing him of misleading the public about the platforms’ safety. However, Judge Rogers determined that the plaintiffs could not prove Zuckerberg had a personal duty to disclose risks based on his knowledge of Meta’s products.

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While this ruling is a win for Zuckerberg, Meta still faces other allegations in the ongoing lawsuits, which also involve tech giants like Alphabet, ByteDance, and Snap. These cases claim that children have suffered harm due to social media use and seek damages and cessation of the alleged harmful practices. Legal actions by several states and school districts against Meta are also underway.

Why It Matters: Meta has been under fire for issues related to child safety on its platforms. In February, the company faced internal concerns over the misuse of subscription tools on Facebook and Instagram, which were being exploited by adults targeting children.

In January, Zuckerberg apologized during a Senate hearing to families of online child abuse victims. This followed revelations from a whistleblower about Instagram’s inadequate protection for young users from online harassment.

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Photo courtesy: Brian Solis via Flickr

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