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Ohio sues Facebook, says it misled the public about the effect its products have on children

Ohio is suing Facebook’s parent company Meta, alleging that the social media platform misled the public about the effects its products have on children. The lawsuit, filed Nov. 12 on behalf of the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS), seeks more than $ 100 billion in damages.

The lawsuit alleges that between April 29 and October 21, Facebook and top executives violated federal securities law when they intentionally misled the public and shareholders about how their products could adversely affect children.

“Facebook said it was taking care of our children and eliminating online trolls, but it was actually creating misery and division for profit,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said. said in a statement Monday. He added that when the Wall street journal started posting a series of articles based on internal documents from whistleblower Frances Haugen, “the truth began to emerge.” According to the documents, Facebook’s own internal investigation showed that its Instagram photo-sharing platform could be harmful to the mental health of adolescents, especially girls.

After the reports were released, Facebook shares tumbled, causing the company’s retirement system and other investors to lose more than $ 100 billion, Yost said.

According to the lawsuit, OPERS manages assets worth approximately $ 125 billion on behalf of 1.1 million active members, retirees and beneficiaries. The system “purchased class A common shares of Facebook at artificially inflated prices” in 2021 and “suffered damage as a result of alleged violations of federal securities laws.”

Meta spokesman Joe Osborne said in an emailed statement to The edge that the lawsuit “has no merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously.”

In addition to recovering the $ 100 billion lost, Yost said, the lawsuit “requires Facebook to make significant reforms to ensure it does not mislead the public about its internal practices.”

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