After a series of discoveries in The Wall Street Journal Facebook is on the defensive. Instagram’s kids version plans have already been discontinued.
“We think we’re doing the right thing to build Instagram Kids, but we’re paused on it,” Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, wrote in his foundation’s blog. Instagram, which is part of Facebook, has been under heavy fire for several weeks over a file The Wall Street Journal It was published earlier this month under the name “The Facebook Files”.
Based on leaked documents, the newspaper wrote about internal research conducted by Facebook that proves that the use of Instagram is particularly harmful to the self-image of young girls.
On Thursday, Facebook’s head of security, Antigone Davis, will respond before the US Senate’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection. She can expect varying questions about the leaked documents and about everything Facebook knows about the potentially harmful effects of using its products. Several politicians have also announced that they will question Davis about plans for a children’s version of Instagram.
So Facebook thinks it’s a good idea for the time being to stock up on this kids’ version. A few hours ago, Facebook’s Head of Research, Pratiti Raychoudhury, posted a fairly detailed response to the revelations of The Wall Street Journal. Raichoudhury wrote that the results of the leaked internal investigation on Instagram were selectively and misleadingly presented by that newspaper.
That study surveyed teens about a dozen negative experiences, including problems with their body image as well as loneliness, anxiety and eating problems. For eleven of the twelve trials, teens said Instagram had no effect or even made them better, only on body image issues that teens reported as a negative effect. But when the report is released in full so the public and researchers can judge the results for themselves, the company won’t go that far.
The source of the leaked documents has filed for whistleblower protection, according to US media.
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