Instagram boss says US lawmakers’ app ‘may help’ teens

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2019 study finds Instagram worsens body image problems for one in three teenage girls

On Wednesday, the Instagram boss presented an uplifting take on the photo-sharing app’s impact on teens in a testimony to U.S. lawmakers that contradicted reports based on the company’s own research.

Adam Mosseri argued that the service could help struggling young people, after documents leaked by a company insider raised fears of damage, including a 2019 study that found Instagram is making body image problems worse for one. teenager in three.

“Sometimes young people come to Instagram to deal with difficult things in their life. I think Instagram can help a lot of them in these times,” Mosseri wrote.

“This is something our research has also suggested,” he added in written testimony prepared for his appearance before a Senate trade subcommittee.

His statement comes as social media networks run by Facebook parent Meta grapple with a crisis fueled by the company’s own research and which has reignited years of U.S. pressure for regulation.

The documents leaked by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen also include a 2020 report indicating that 32% of teenage girls said when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made it worse.

Facebook violently rejected a series of Wall Street Journal reports based on the findings, and a subsequent series for a US media consortium, arguing that its research was misinterpreted.

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Senators Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn are leading the hearing, the latest in a series examining how social media could make teens feel less good about themselves.

“These half measures are not enough. Instagram must create tangible solutions to improve security and data security,” Blackburn tweeted ahead of the hearing.


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