Texas Supreme Court: Facebook can be sued for sex trafficking

The court case involved three teen sex trafficking victims who allegedly met their abusers on Facebook.
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Facebook headquarters in London
Facebook headquarters in London
(DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/Getty)

The Texas Supreme Court ruled that Facebook could be held liable if sex traffickers use the site to prey on children.

The court ruled Friday the social media platform was not a "lawless no-man’s-land" and could be held accountable for crimes conducted on or through the site.

The ruling was made following three Houston-based cases involving teen sex-trafficking victims who alleged they met their abusers through Facebook's messaging service. Prosecutors also argued the social media giant acted negligently for not doing more to curb sex trafficking and predators on its site, according to The Epoch Times.

Facebook argued it was protected under Section 230, a law that states online platforms are not responsible or held liable for third-party content on the site.

"Holding internet platforms accountable for words or actions of their users is one thing, and the federal precedent uniformly dictates that section 230 does not allow it," court documents read. "Holding internet platforms accountable for their own misdeeds is quite another thing. This is particularly the case for human trafficking."

A Facebook spokesperson told Fox Bussiness that the company is "reviewing the decision and considering potential next steps. Sex trafficking is abhorrent and not allowed on Facebook." 

The spokeperson also said the company "will continue our fight against the spread of this content and the predators who engage in it."