The Texas Supreme Court handed down a ruling on Friday allowing Facebook and other social media platforms to be held liable for the sex trafficking of minors.
There are currently three separate lawsuits pending in the state which have been anticipating this ruling before they would be able to proceed.
According to local outlet Kiro 7, Facebook is being sued in Texas for negligence and for product liability, due to its failing to do anything to try and prevent the blatant trafficking from occurring on its platform. The legal complaint alleges that Facebook benefitted financially from such actions.
"We do not understand Section 230 to 'create a lawless no-man's-land on the internet,'" the legal opinion handed down by the justices reads, "in which states are powerless to impose liability on websites that knowingly or intentionally participate in the evil of online human trafficking."
"Holding internet platforms accountable for the words or actions of their users is one thing, and the federal precedent uniformly dictates that Section 230 does not allow it. Holding internet platforms accountable for their own misdeeds is quite another thing. This is particularly the case for human trafficking."
"Sex trafficking is abhorrent and not allowed on Facebook," a Facebook spokesperson from Facebook said in response. "We will continue our fight against the spread of this content and the predators who engage in it."
Facebook's defense in the cases had hinged around a federal provision known as Section 230, which legally shields social media companies from legal ramifications stemming from users on their sites. That did not hold water for the Texas judiciary.