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A judge in New Mexico has approved Mark Zuckerberg’s request to be removed from a lawsuit concerning child safety

Mark Zukerberg arrives to testify (Via Marco Joseph/Getty Images)

A judge in New Mexico agreed on Thursday to Mark Zuckerberg’s request to be removed from a lawsuit accusing his company of failing to protect young users on its social media platforms from sexual exploitation.

The lawsuit is part of a broader legal battle involving states, school districts, and parents who are concerned about child exploitation on Meta’s platforms. This issue has also attracted attention in Congress and among parents concerned about the impact of social media on young people.

Last year, Attorney General Raúl Torrez filed the lawsuit against Meta and Zuckerberg following an undercover online investigation. While the judge granted Zuckerberg’s request to be dropped from the lawsuit, he denied Meta’s motion to dismiss the state’s claims, which Torrez sees as a significant step forward in holding the social media giant accountable.

Torrez emphasized that this case marks a turning point, allowing legal challenges related to child sexual exploitation on social media platforms to proceed.

Ra’l Torrez talks in a news conference (Via Marco Joseph/Getty Images)

He stated that all platforms that harm their users should be aware of potential legal repercussions.

Separately, in late October, 33 state attorneys general, including those from California and New York, alleged that Instagram and Facebook deliberately design features to engage children and contribute to mental health issues among youth.

Regarding Zuckerberg’s involvement, the judge expressed that he was not convinced by the state’s arguments to keep Zuckerberg in the New Mexico lawsuit but left open the possibility that this could change based on future evidence presented in the case against Meta.

Torrez’s office indicated it would continue evaluating whether to pursue individual claims against Zuckerberg in the future.

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