Ohio Republican Attorney General David Yost filed a lawsuit on Friday against Meta, formerly known as Facebook, over allegedly misleading the public on its proprietary algorithm to boost stock and deceive shareholders, CNBC reported on Monday.
On behalf of Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) and several Facebook investors, the lawsuit contends that from Apr. 29 through Oct. 21, Facebook and its senior executives violated federal securities laws by deceptively downplaying the adverse effects its products have on the well-being of children and steps taken to prevent it.
OPERS and Facebook investors reportedly lost more than $100 billion in the process, per CNBC.
"Facebook said it was looking out for our children and weeding out online trolls, but in reality, was creating misery and divisiveness for profit ... we are not people to Mark Zuckerberg; we are the product, and we are being used against each other out of greed," Yost said, according to WTRF.
The case follows disclosures from former Facebook employee Frances Haugen, who delivered documents on Facebook’s internal research to journalists, Congress, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, CBS News' "60 Minutes" revealed in October.
The documents showed Facebook had conducted research assessing the mental health impact of its Instagram app on adolescents, finding it worsened body issues for teenage girls, The Wall Street Journal reported two months ago.
"Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse," Facebook researchers said in a March 2020 slide presentation posted to the company’s internal message board, reviewed by the Journal.
"Comparisons on Instagram can change how young women view and describe themselves."
Yost was involved in a bipartisan, multi-state antitrust lawsuit against Facebook earlier this year that a federal judge ultimately threw out. The plaintiffs have indicated they plan to appeal the ruling, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is pursuing a similar case against the company.
Yost joined a similar lawsuit calling for Facebook to halt plans to introduce a version of Instagram for kids, leading to the company pausing its plans, according to CNBC.
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