The company once known as Facebook, Meta Platforms Inc., deliberately misled the public about its algorithm and the negative effects its products have on minors to maximize profits, according to a new lawsuit filed by Ohio’s attorney general. “Facebook said it was looking out for our children and weeding out online trolls, but in reality was creating misery and divisiveness for profit,” AG Dave Yost said in a statement. His office is filing the suit on behalf of Meta investors and the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. Court documents allege that between April and October 2021, Facebook’s leaders flouted federal securities law to boost stock and fool shareholders.
Yost said in his statement that “the truth began to emerge” upon the publication of “The Facebook Files” by The Wall Street Journal earlier this year. The Journal, aided by whistleblower Frances Haugen, reported that Facebook knew about the damage its platforms did to users, especially young ones. In response to Yost’s filing Monday, a spokesperson for Meta said, “This suit is without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously.” The AG is seeking more than $100 billion in damages and demands procedures be put in place to prevent the deception of investors in the future.