Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg Cleared of Personal Liability in Child Addiction Lawsuits by Court Decision

By John Lopez

Apr 16, 2024 04:34 PM EDT

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been cleared of personal liability in about two dozen lawsuits alleging that Meta and other social media companies contributed to child addiction. 

US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, California, dismissed claims against Zuckerberg, stating that he cannot be held personally liable solely based on his role as the "trusted voice on all things Meta." 

Bloomberg tells us that the ruling highlights the necessity of a "special relationship" between Zuckerberg and Meta's users for liability to exist.

Meta Remains Liable to Current Lawsuits

Despite dismissing claims against Zuckerberg individually, the lawsuits against Meta as a company remain active. The plaintiffs are granted the opportunity to amend and refile their complaints.

These cases against Meta and other tech giants represent a broader trend of legal action seeking to address the alleged harm caused by social media platforms. 

With over 1,000 suits filed in state and federal courts by families and public school districts, the repercussions of social media use, including anxiety, depression, and even suicide among young users, are under intense scrutiny.

READ MORE: YouTube Tightens Grip on Ad Blockers; Now Targets Third-Party Apps

Big Tech CEOs Testify At Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, leaves the room during a break in a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on January 31, 2024 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony from the heads of the largest tech firms on the dangers of child sexual exploitation on social media.
(Photo : Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Social Media Giants Face Scrutiny

Meta, along with Alphabet Inc.'s Google, ByteDance Ltd.'s TikTok, and Snap Inc., owner of Snapchat, face mounting pressure to address concerns regarding the safety of their platforms. Zuckerberg and other big tech CEOs were called to testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing back in January. 

While some claims have been allowed to proceed against these companies, they maintain their stance of denying wrongdoing and assert that measures have been taken to ensure the safety of young users.

Judge Rogers's ruling comes amid increasing scrutiny and regulatory pressure on social media companies regarding their impact on users, particularly young individuals. 

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