Sept. 15, 2021 – The demand comes as top lawmakers on the Senate Commerce Committee announced plans to investigate the company with the help of a “Facebook whistleblower.”

“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,” the lawmakers said.

The letter is signed by Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, and Representatives Kathy Castor and Lori Trahan of Florida and Massachusetts, respectively. The Wall Street Journal revealed Tuesday that researchers inside Instagram had studied the impact of the photo-sharing app on the lives of its millions of young users. The researchers concluded that a sizable percentage of teenage girls believed the app was responsible for mental health issues related to their self-image. “We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,” the researchers wrote in a slide presentation posted to Facebook’s internal message board and obtained by the Journal.

According to one slide, 32 percent of teen girls said the app made them feel worse about their bodies. Of those who’d experienced suicidal thoughts, “13% of British users and 6% of American users traced the desire to kill themselves to Instagram,” the Journal reported, citing another presentation.


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