WATCH – GIRLS DON’T NEED FILLERS OR FILTERS –
Sept. 16, 2021 – There’s a lot to unpack from the Journal’s investigation. But one thing that stands out is just how blatantly Facebook’s problems are documented, using the kind of simple, observational prose not often found in internal communications at multinational corporations.
Here are some of the more jaw-dropping moments from the Journal’s series. In the Journal’s report on Instagram’s impact on teens, it cites Facebook’s own researchers’ slide deck, stating the app harms mental health.
“We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,” said one slide from 2019, according to the WSJ. Another reads: “Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression … This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.”
Those slides are particularly notable because Facebook has often referenced external studies, rather than its own researchers’ findings, in arguing that there’s little correlation between social media use and depression.
Karina Newton, head of public policy at Instagram, addressed the WSJ story Tuesday, saying that while Instagram can be a place where users have “negative experiences,” the app also gives a voice to marginalized people and helps friends and family stay connected. Newton said that Facebook’s internal research demonstrated the company’s 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.”