Facebook officials knew Instagram can have negative mental health impacts for teens, report claims


Top Facebook officials were aware that Instagram, the popular photo-based social media platform that it owns, can have a negative impact on mental health, body image and more for teenagers, particularly teenage girls, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Researchers who work for the social media giant found that some of the problems were specific to Instagram and not social media as a whole for teens, according to the Journal.

“Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse,” researchers shared in a March 2020 slide presentation posted to Facebook’s internal message board, reviewed by the Journal. “Comparisons on Instagram can change how young women view and describe themselves.”

In a study of teens in the U.S. and the U.K., Facebook found that over 40% of Instagram users who reported feeling “unattractive” traced that feeling back to the platform.

One slide from 2019 stated, “We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls.” Another read, “Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression,” according to the Journal.

One presentation said that, among teenagers who have experienced suicidal thoughts, 13% of British users and 6% of American users traced suicidal impulses to Instagram.

Researchers also found Instagram negatively impacted some teenage boys, including a 2019 finding that 14% of boys in the U.S. said Instagram made them feel more negatively about themselves.

Although Facebook has taken some steps to potentially reduce negative impacts for teens, such as removing counts of “likes,” the company has publicly downplayed Instagram’s impacts.

Social Media:Mental health TikTok is powerful. But is it therapy?

‘I am not alone’:Gen Z activists unite amid COVID pandemic to confront racism, mental health

The research from Facebook does indicate that not all teens experience harmful effects from using the app. For many, connecting with peers and expressing themselves outweighed potential “negative social comparison.”

Karina Newton, head of public policy at Instagram, said in a statement responding to the Journal’s reporting, “While the story focuses on a limited set of findings and casts them in a negative light, we stand by this research.

“It demonstrates our commitment to understanding complex and difficult issues young people may struggle with, and informs all the work we do to help those experiencing these issues,” her statement continued.

She also said that “social media isn’t inherently good or bad for people” and that research on the effects of social media is “mixed.”

Some of the research published by the Journal was cited in presentations given to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., in August requested that Zuckerberg release Facebook’s internal research on mental health impacts on young people. Facebook sent the senators a six-page letter that did not include its own studies, the Journal noted.

Blumenthal and Blackburn, who are chair and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Security, on Tuesday announced that the subcommittee “would take additional steps to look into Facebook’s knowledge of its platforms’ negative impact on teenagers and young users,” according to a news release.

Instagram declined to comment on the announcement from Sens. Blumenthal and Blackburn.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Snoopy and the Peanuts gang return for annual celebrity golf tournament

© Provided by GamesRadar Schulz Celebrity Golf Classic Golf was a big part of the Peanuts comic strip and the life of its creator, the late Charles Schulz. That relationship ... Read more »

Five industries affected by automation right now

By Laura Vogel If you work in retail, food service, warehouses, or health care, your newest co-workers may be robots, not human. Automation is replacing many of the roles done ... Read more »

France recalls its ambassadors to US and Australia in submarine deal backlash

Watch: France to recall ambassadors after AUKUS submarine deal snub France on Friday said it was immediately recalling its ambassadors to the US and Australia for consultations after Australia struck ... Read more »

2 shocking stats that show why ‘vaccine apartheid' is getting worse

Catherine Cargill becomes one of the first people to receive a third dose in England, as the NHS begins its COVID-19 Booster Vaccination Campaign. (PA Images) “I would go one ... Read more »

Florida man used Disney employee iPad to magically skip lines

There are tons of books and blogs telling you how to have a magical Disney World experience, but one Florida man discovered the ultimate travel hack: using an app that ... Read more »

AT&T is now offering an incredible iPhone 13 Pro deal for free with trade-in

Pre-orders for Apple’s latest devices are now live and some tempting iPhone 13 Pro deals have already emerged. Right now, AT&T is giving customers the opportunity to bag the iPhone ... Read more »

SpaceX's Inspiration4 mission is all anyone can talk about in this week's science news

What else is there to say, this week was all about the lead up to and the successful launch of SpaceX’s historic all-civilian Inspiration4 space mission. The excitement for the ... Read more »

29 brilliant Halloween costumes for twins or siblings

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Halloween is every kid’s dream. Free candy and you get to ... Read more »

What to do if your child is exposed to COVID-19 at school, from quarantine etiquette to testing

Kids in masks returning to school Los Angeles Times If your child is exposed to COVID-19, the whole family should prepare for some level of quarantine. An unvaccinated child should ... Read more »

Save big on ThirdLove's Internet-famous bra and underwear sets

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. If you’re ready for fall, internet-famous intimates brand Thirdlove is right ... Read more »

Taylor Swift Drops New Version of 'Wildest Dreams': 'Thought You Should Have My Version'

Taylor Swift Jordan Strauss/AP/Shutterstock Swifties — this is not a drill! Taylor Swift was once again keeping her fans on their toes as she dropped the newest version to her ... Read more »

Xbox Chaturdays 40: NVIDIA leaks some Xbox games

Join the conversation live! For episode 40 of Xbox Chaturdays we’ll be joined by the one and only Mr. Boomstick XL of Double-Barrel Gaming to discuss the massive NVIDIA GeForce ... Read more »

Microsoft to Azure Linux users: Patch this problem yourself

Microsoft can’t help you if you don’t help yourself. © Provided by Windows Central What you need to know Recently exposed Azure Linux vulnerabilities leave users vulnerable to having their ... Read more »

Clubhouse appears to be working on Waves, a new way to invite friends to rooms

Clubhouse appears to be working on a new way to invite people to audio rooms in its app, based on screenshots shared by researcher Jane Manchum Wong. The invite feature, ... Read more »

Gene-edited super-crops set for UK approval in Brexit red-tape bonfire

Kale The UK is set to cut red tape on gene-edited crops in a post-Brexit move that could see products like less-bitter kale hit British supermarket shelves in the future. ... Read more »

Man who unlocked 1.9 million AT&T phones sentenced to 12 years in prison

A US district court has sentenced a man who unlocked 1.9 million AT&T phones to 12 years in prison. Muhammad Fahd continued the seven-year scheme to defraud the company even ... Read more »

What are the symptoms of long COVID?

ONS data suggests that up to 643,000 people in the UK could be experiencing activity-limiting long COVID symptoms. (Getty) Throughout the pandemic, one of the key factors that scientists and ... Read more »

Kate Middleton Reportedly Uses a Special Phrase with Her Kids to Keep Them from Misbehaving

It’s no secret that Kate Middleton has a go-to parenting move. However, according to a new report, she also uses a certain phrase with her kids in public to signal ... Read more »

Inspiration4: Tom Cruise speaks with passengers on SpaceX's all-civilian flight

Inspiration4: Tom Cruise speaks with passengers on SpaceX’s all-civilian flight Tom Cruise has spoken to the four passengers on SpaceX’s all-civilian flight Inspiration4. Representatives for the flight told The Associated ... Read more »

Save up to 75% on Kate Spade purses, handbags and more—but only for today

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. If you’re in the market for a new handbag, we’ve got ... Read more »

FIFA 22 Web App release date: When does Fifa 22 Web App come out?

© EA SPORTS The FIFA 22 Web App Release Date The FIFA 22 Web App is coming, and EA Sports has provided a release date for when gamers will log ... Read more »

Oh snap! Who is Microsoft buying now? Valve? 2K? Sega? Sony??

of another massive Microsoft acquisition on par with the recent Bethesda purchase. As there’s only a handful of companies big enough to warrant that kind of buzz, the internet’s going ... Read more »

Coding platform GitLab reveals surge in growth in U.S. IPO filing

(Reuters) -GitLab Inc, a coding platform backed by the likes of ICONIQ Capital and Khosla Ventures, revealed rapid growth and wider losses when it filed for a U.S. initial public ... Read more »

The best handheld consoles – from the Atari Lynx to the Nintendo Switch

© Provided by GamesRadar Best PS Vita games Over the years, we’ve been gaming on the go on some truly amazing handheld consoles. From Nintendo systems like the 3DS to ... Read more »

Own a Chevrolet Bolt? Don't park within 50 feet of others cars, Chevy warns

© Provided by TechRadar The Chevrolet Bolt parked on a track through a farm General Motors’ decision to recall the Chevrolet Bolt to correct battery construction issues and reduce fire ... Read more »

Evan Dorkin is taking a break from comic books

© Provided by GamesRadar Dork cover Writer/artist Evan Dorkin has announced via Twitter that he’s taking a break from comic books. The Milk & Cheese creator says this decision comes ... Read more »

Xbox Series X 500 GB storage expansion card spotted on French retailer

© Provided by GamesRadar Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X A smaller Xbox Series X and S expansion card may open up the console’s storage options soon. Xbox ... Read more »

Here's what time Diablo 2: Resurrected launches on all platforms

© Provided by Windows Central Polish your armor and fill your mana pool. Diablo 2: Resurrected is almost here. Diablo 2: Resurrected will soon be available on all platforms, bringing ... Read more »

U.S. cryptocurrency sanctions are on the way, according to new report

© Windows Central ZOTAC GTX 1070 The continuing crypto conundrum grows crazier. What you need to know Cryptocurrency is becoming a more mainstream topic for both average people as well ... Read more »

You can get 6 months of HBO Max for 50% off this week—here's what you should know

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. HBO Max has one of the best streaming catalogues out there, ... Read more »

Wacom Mobile Studio Pro

© Provided by TechRadar Side angled shot of the Wacom Mobile Studio Pro Wacom Mobile Studio Pro two minute review The Wacom Mobile Studio Pro looks fairly unremarkable by graphics ... Read more »

Treasury to issue new cryptocurrency sanctions after ransomware attacks

The Biden administration is preparing to issue a series of actions, including sanctions, to make it more difficult for hackers to profit off of ransomware attacks through the use of ... Read more »

The best iPhone 13 mini deals to pre-order in 2021

The second generation of Apple’s ‘mini’ series is here. All of the details of this tiny powerhouse have been revealed and now, keen fans of the small form device can ... Read more »

Score a Mrs. Meyer's gift set worth $50 with your Grove Collaborative purchase

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Grove Collaborative has a great offer right now that will put ... Read more »

Software issue blocks Apple Card users from pre-ordering the iPhone 13

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Apple users flocked to the company’s store starting at 8am ET Friday to pre-order one of the new iPhone 13 smartphones, but shoppers ... Read more »

Apple's seven-minute tour shows off what's new in the iPhone 13

Apple released a seven-and-a-half-minute video to act as a guided tour of the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro’s features, and to make the differences in the lineup clearer. In the ... Read more »

Nebbia Works constructs mono-material pavilion for V&A from low-carbon aluminium

Nebbia Works has created a self-supporting pavilion from simple aluminium sheets at the V&A museum as part of the London Design Festival to highlight the material’s sustainable potential. © Provided by Dezeen Between ... Read more »

Verizon sweetens subsidies on iPhones to match competition

© Reuters/Rick Wilking FILE PHOTO: A Verizon store in Superior, Colorado (Reuters) – Verizon Communications said on Friday it is increasing its subsidies on offer for Apple Inc’s newly launched ... Read more »

Xbox One S vs. X: Is it still worth buying one?

Xbox One X Raw 4K power © Provided by Windows Central See at Amazon Pros Has thousands of games 4K media apps, Blu-ray discs, and games IR blaster for TV ... Read more »

Hulu free trial explained: here's what you get on each tier without spending a dime

© Provided by GamesRadar Hulu free trial Picking up a Hulu free trial is a smart move, but there’s actually more than just one option available. And there’s a great ... Read more »