Ohio's attorney general is suing Meta Platforms Inc., formerly known as Facebook Inc., alleging the company misled the public about how it controlled its algorithm and the effects of its products on children.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Meta investors and the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, seeks more than $100 billion in damages and demands that Meta make significant changes to not mislead investors again, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said in a statement.
Joe Osborne, a Meta spokesperson, said that this suit is without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously.
The lawsuit alleges that Facebook and its executives knowingly misrepresented the public about the negative impact of its products on minors in an effort to boost its stock and deceive shareholders between April 29 and Oct. 21, 2021.
Facebook was looking out for our children, weeding out online trolls, but in reality was creating misery and divisiveness for profit, said Yost, a Republican.
The Facebook Files series revealed that the company knew its photo-sharing app, Instagram, was harmful to some teenage girls.
The revelations caused Facebook stock prices to fall by $54.08 a share and caused the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and other Facebook investors to lose more than $100 billion, Yost said.
In May, Yost and attorneys general from 43 other states and territories urged Facebook to abandon its plan to build an Instagram app for kids under 13 years, citing behavioral and privacy concerns.
In September, due to growing bipartisan political pressure, the company said it was suspending the project. The Journal story about how Instagram hurts some teenage girls came a little less than two weeks after the publication of the story.
Frances Haugen, a Facebook whistleblower, has stepped up efforts in the European Union to impose new restrictions on big technology companies.