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Friday, January 27, 2023

Facebook faces Senate investigation after reports revealing Instagram’s harmful effects on girls

After a recent report revealed that the social media company realized that its Instagram platform may be harmful to the mental health of young girls, lawmakers are taking action against Facebook.

In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, Senators Richard Blumenthal (Democrat-Connecticut) and Martha Blackburn (Republican-Tennessee) stated that they are responding to Facebook’s popular photo-sharing platform for teenagers The user’s understanding of the negative impact was launched into a bipartisan investigation. .

The senators said in a statement: “It is clear that Facebook is not capable of holding itself accountable.” “The Wall Street Journal report shows that Facebook’s leadership is focused on a mentality of growth at all costs that values ​​profit. Not the health and life of children and adolescents.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook has been keeping its internal research confidential. The research has repeatedly found that Instagram users, especially girls, have mental health and physical image problems.

An internal presentation slide obtained by The Wall Street Journal stated that Instagram “makes the body image problem of a third of young girls worse.” According to the Wall Street Journal, another slide showed that teenagers “blank Instagram for the increase in anxiety and depression rates.”

There is also an internal study investigating whether there is a connection between adolescents’ suicidal thoughts and the time spent on Instagram. The presentation slide seen by The Wall Street Journal stated that 13% of British users and 6% of American users attributed their desire for self-harm to the use of Instagram.

Blumenthal and Blackburn, chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Consumer Protection, Product Security and Data Security Subcommittee, said they “kept in touch with Facebook whistleblowers” and would use “all the resources at our disposal to investigate what Facebook knows information”. When they know. “

“The heavy coverage of the Wall Street Journal may be just the tip of the iceberg,” they said.

At the same time, Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass) can be used by children under 13 years of age.

“As the Internet, especially social media, penetrates into the lives of children and young people, we are deeply concerned that your company continues to fail to fulfill its obligation to protect young users, and has not promised to stop launching new platforms for children and young people. ,” the Democrats wrote in a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook has a record of eliminating public mental health problems. In March, Zuckerberg told Rep. Kathy McMorris Rogers (R-Wash.) at a congressional hearing that a study linking social media to depression was “inconclusive.”

Karina Newton, Instagram’s head of public policy, wrote in a statement that the Wall Street Journal’s report “focused on a limited set of findings and placed them on negative emotions”.

“There are problems such as negative social comparison and anxiety in the world, so they will also exist on social media,” Newton said. “This has not changed the fact that we take these findings seriously, and we have made specific efforts to respond to this research and make Instagram better.”


This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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