Any parent with a daughter knows that Instagram can be unhealthy for their child, and now we’ve learned that employees of the company itself agree.
A story in the Wall Street Journal revealed that Facebook researchers discovered on multiple occasions that Instagram is toxic for teen girls.
The WSJ featured reported that Facebook researchers have been doing studies the past three years to see how IG affects teen girls, and the results are terrible.
The research data that Facebook uncovered themselves shows the platform can damage mental health and body image, especially for teenage girls, which is the largest demographic of the app.
One internal presentation slide uncovered by the WSJ said “we make body image issues worse for one in three girls.”
Here’s another chilling piece of data revealed in the story. Among teens who reported having thoughts of suicide, 13% of British users and 6% of American teen girls said the desire to kill themselves came from Instagram.
The WSJ report also said that Facebook researchers came to the conclusion that many problems with teen mental health were specific to Instagram. They did not see the same reactions from using other social media platforms.
Instagram said Tuesday they are working on this, and are “increasingly focused on addressing negative social comparison and negative body image.”
Congress has seen the report. Here’s a reaction from Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.
“I’m appalled and alarmed by Facebook’s targeting of teens with dangerous products while hiding the science of its toxic impact. Through hearings and legislation my Commerce subcommittee will act to protect children and support parents.”