With the news of Congress to investigate if Instagram harms teens or not, it is rumored that Facebook is under fire. According to BBC Facebook-owned Instagram has been criticized for keeping secret its internal research into the effect social media had on teenage users.
According to the Wall Street Journal, its studies showed teenagers blamed Instagram for increased levels of anxiety and depression. Campaign groups and MPs have said it is proof the company puts profit first. Instagram said the research showed its “commitment to understanding complex and difficult issues”.
Congress to Investigate If Instagram Harm Teens or Not
Congress is really set to investigate if Instagram harm teens or not. “We’ve done extensive work around bullying, suicide and self-injury, and eating disorders, to help make Instagram a safe and supportive place for everyone,” Facebook Company said in its post.
“Based on our research and feedback from experts, we’ve developed features so people can protect themselves from bullying, we’ve given everyone the option to hide ‘like’ counts and we’ve continued to connect people who may be struggling with local support organizations.”
It was working on prompts to encourage people repeatedly dwelling on negative subjects to look at different topics, it said. And it promised to be more transparent about its research in the future.
Children and Teens Vulnerability
“Children and teens are uniquely vulnerable populations online, and these findings paint a clear and devastating picture of Instagram as an app that poses significant threats to young people’s wellbeing,” they wrote.
“We are deeply concerned that your company continues to fail in its obligation to protect young users and has yet to commit to halting its plans to launch new platforms targeting children and teens.” They asked Zuckerberg to agree to abandon any plans for such platforms, including Instagram for younger users.
They also asked whether he had “personally reviewed” Facebook’s research on young users’ mental health and requested he shares copies of all internal and external research the company has conducted, commissioned, or accessed.
Child safety groups and 44 state attorneys general have called on Facebook to abandon the project, and lawmakers including Markey, Castor, and Trahan have pressed the company over how it plans to protect the privacy and safety of users under 13.
Zuckerberg and other company executives have defended Instagram Youth, saying that because kids under 13 are already using Instagram regardless of the app’s age limit, it would be better to make a version specifically for them and with parental controls. You can get more details from this link.