The state of Ohio’s largest public employee pension fund has filed a lawsuit against Facebook, now known as Meta, alleging that it violated federal securities law by intentionally misleading the public about the negative effects of its social platforms and the algorithms that power them.
The lawsuit filed by the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System alleges that Facebook hid inconvenient findings about how the company managed those algorithms, as well as the steps it claimed it was taking to protect the public.
The lawsuit also alleges that Facebook was aware that its platform facilitated dissent, illegal activity, and violent extremism but did nothing to address it.
Based on internal company documents leaked by data scientist and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen, the Associated Press and a coalition of other news organizations have reported extensively on Facebook’s actions, internal dissents that warned of these problems, and related issues around the world.
“Facebook claimed to be protecting our children and weeding out online trolls, but in reality it was causing misery and division for profit,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said in a statement.
“To Mark Zuckerberg, we are not people; we are the product, and we are being used against each other out of greed.”
According to the lawsuit, which was filed last week in federal court in California, market losses caused by the publicity surrounding Facebook’s actions cost investors — including OPERS — more than $100 billion.
According to a Facebook spokesperson, the lawsuit is without merit and that the company will fight it.