Facebook Parent Company, CEO Zuckerberg Named in Human Trafficking, Child Exploitation Complaint

Investors from Rhode Island, Ohio and New Zealand filed suit against Meta Platforms in the Delaware Court of Chancery.

A group of pension funds and institutional investor shareholders in Facebook parent company Meta Platforms Inc. have filed a shareholder derivative suit against the company’s directors and officers concerning the use of Meta’s platforms in sex trafficking and child exploitation.

The Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island sued in the Delaware Court of Chancery on March 8 and released a redacted version of the filing this week. The pension fund is joined in the suit by the Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund, the Kiwi Investment Management Wholesale Core Global Fund and the Kiwi Investment Management Global Quantitative Fund.

The suit names Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s executive chairman, CEO and controlling shareholder; Sheryl Sandberg, its former chief operating officer who still sits on the company’s board; 20 other board members and executives; and Meta Platforms Inc. as defendants.

Rhode Island General Treasurer James A. Diossa said in a Tuesday statement that the pension fund alleges that Meta and its senior executives and board members “breached their fiduciary duties with respect to the rampant and systemic sex trafficking, human trafficking, and child sexual exploitation flourishing on Meta’s social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.”

“Meta’s executives and board members can no longer consciously fail to address the rampant sex trafficking, human trafficking, and child sexual exploitation that the complaint alleges frequently occurred on its platforms,” said Diossa in the statement. “We are filing this lawsuit to hold them accountable for their alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, the resulting damages to the company, and to ensure that Meta implements meaningful change to address the illegal conduct occurring on its platforms.”

The complaint states that in the “shareholder derivative action, Plaintiffs, on behalf of Meta, seek to recover for the harm sustained by the Company as a result of the breaches of
fiduciary duty by the Company’s directors and officers. “

Meta did not respond to a request for comment.

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