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The Statehouse News Bureau provides educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations.

Ohio AG sues Facebook over losses in state's largest pension fund

The Facebook logo inside the data center in New Albany that opened in February 2020. [Facebook]

Ohio’s attorney general is suing Facebook over millions of dollars in losses suffered by the state’s largest pension fund, one of the biggest in the world.

This is one of the first lawsuits against Facebook following reports that the social media giant knew its Instagram product was harming teenage girls, but didn’t do anything about it.

Republican Attorney General Dave Yost said Facebook claimed it was taking steps to protect the health and well-being of children. When internal documents from a whistleblower revealed last month in what has become known as "the Facebook Files" disputed that, the stock took a hit.

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System sold some Facebook stock it had bought in July, realizing a $4 million loss.

Yost admitted that’s a small percentage of the more than $90 billion the fund manages, but he said it's not just about the dollar value of the loss.

“The bottom line is, there are substantial questions about the governance of Facebook. Do their policies what they say they mean? What are the internal procedures to make sure the policy is followed?” Yost said.

Yost is also seeking class-action status. The lawsuit was filed in US District Court in the Northern District of California.

A spokesperson for Meta, which is Facebook’s new name, said in a statement: “This suit is without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously.”

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