According to California Attorney General Rob Bonta, the legal complaints resulted from a nationwide investigation announced in November 2021.
“Our bipartisan investigation has reached a sobering conclusion: META is harming our children and teens, creating addiction in order to fuel corporate profits,” Bonta said in a release.
“With today’s lawsuit, we are drawing the line.”
The investigation was launched after Facebook whistleblower Francis Haugen leaked more than 20,000 pages of internal documents to the media, sparking criticism that the social media giant has prioritized profits before the safety of its users.
During testimony before US and European lawmakers in 2021, he stressed that Facebook has failed to reduce toxic content and that the company cannot be trusted to change its ways.
Facebook changed its name to Meta later that year, with critics suspecting it was intended to distance the company from its social networking controversies.
Meta’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg defended the company at the time, saying that “the argument that we knowingly push content that makes people angry for the sake of profit is wildly illogical.”