Facebook withheld its own research pointing to the negative effects of Instagram on teenage girls. That is the claim of the whistleblower who will appear before the US Senate on Tuesday.
Mark van Asen, Gwen Vanden Broek
The case came to light in mid-September, when the Wall Street Journal published an internal Facebook investigation. It was about the Instagram affiliate, a platform where people can share photos and videos. Study conclusion: Teenage girls in particular say that app use is detrimental to their self-image.
For example, 1 in 3 teens (including boys) report that Instagram has exacerbated their problems with their bodies. Also, teens who have suicidal thoughts will blame them for using Instagram. In the United States, this represents 6 percent of these users, and in Great Britain 13 percent.
However, the investigation was not announced. A whistleblower leaked the documents, which eventually led to Facebook’s appearance before a US Senate committee last Thursday. The woman is writing her story tonight 60 minutes From CBS, America’s most-watched current affairs program. She will appear before a Senate committee on Tuesday.
In our country, too, 1 in 3 young people say they are unhappy, according to a survey by Red Nose Day:
a lot of criticism
At last week’s hearing, Facebook’s head of security, Antigone Davis, came under fire. Senators have accused the company of knowing the extent of the psychological and emotional damage Instagram has been causing for years. “They withhold their own research into the addiction and toxic effects of their products,” Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said. I have tried to withhold this knowledge from the public and the people’s representatives. She prioritized growth over children’s well-being, choosing greed rather than preventing children’s suffering.”
Davis, who is regularly interrupted in speaking according to the New York Times, responded that there is also research showing that teens have positive experiences with Instagram. In addition, Facebook has done everything it can to limit the harm to younger users, she said.
What didn’t exactly help was that the day before the hearing, Facebook issued a letter that dropped its own investigation. Data will be limited and ambiguous. This immediately sparked criticism from senators. They found this response to be limited, as it pertains to only a small portion of the total research. “The company only comes up with the information that’s right up its alley,” Republican Senator Ted Cruz said.
Facebook itself has also criticized the company’s response. “It’s a shame,” one of the researchers told US media. Another thought the study was a mockery.
The direct consequence of this matter is that Facebook has paused development of Instagram Kids. This platform is intended for children between the ages of 10 and 12 years old. Regular Instagram use by children under the age of 13 is prohibited.
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