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Florida's lawsuit against Meta moves to California

A Meta Portal Go is displayed during a preview of the Meta Store in Burlingame, Calif., Wednesday, May 4, 2022.
Eric Risberg
Facebook parent Meta's results are the latest sign of a protracted slowdown in the digital ad market.

A lawsuit filed by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody against social-media giant Meta has been transferred to California, where similar cases are pending. The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued an order last week transferring Moody’s lawsuit from Tampa.

The order said it appears the lawsuit involves “questions of fact that are common to the actions previously transferred to the Northern District of California and assigned” to Oakland-based U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers.

Moody filed the lawsuit Oct. 24, alleging that Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, uses "manipulative" features to keep minors hooked on the social-media platforms.

READ MORE: Meta's social media platforms 'cause serious harm' to children, Moody claims in federal lawsuit

The lawsuit contended that Meta has violated a law known as the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, which prohibits “unfair methods of competition, unconscionable acts or practices, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce.”

The lawsuit also alleges the company violated the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. It came on the same day that 33 other states filed a similar case in California.

Meta pushed back by saying it has tools to protect minors who use the platforms. The company also pointed to “the complexity of mental health” and various challenges that teens face outside of concerns related to social media.

Last week’s order said the parties could oppose a transfer of the Florida case. As of Tuesday afternoon, a court docket did not include any notices of opposition.

Copyright 2023 WFSU.

The News Service of Florida
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