Instagram director Adam Mosseri told Congress on Wednesday that the devastating effect its app has on young people really should be blamed on the industry as a whole. “But, mom, we were all I do it!”
Mosseri faced questions before the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Security about Instagram’s effect on youth mental health. His overwhelming response was that Congress overestimated the damage Instagram caused to young people and, ultimately, the fault should lie with the entire industry, not just Instagram.
âThe reality is that youth online safety isn’t just about a business,â Mosseri said Wednesday. He said child safety was an “industry-wide issue”.
He said Instagram, and businesses like it, “should adhere to these standards” to gain Section 230 protections., that protects tech companies from being legally responsible for what users post to their platforms. He also said more teens are now using TikTok and YouTube than Instagram, anyway.
“We have been calling for regulation for almost three years now, and from where I am sitting there is no area more important than the safety of young people,” he said.
It is true that other social media platforms including Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube are responsible for some of the negative effects on children online. But Instagram isn’t like these other apps – it’s a specially designed app for photos, and there is some evidence that Instagram has a very specific effect on young people.
But documents from Facebook’s own research have been leaked to the the Wall Street newspaper as part of their series entitled “Facebook files“, found that” Instagram is harmful for a significant percentage of [teens], especially teenage girls. âHe also revealed that social comparison and body image issues impact teens more than adults, with some of the “most intense experiences” being social comparison, loneliness, stress, and depression. Almost half of all the teenage girls on Instagram feel like they “often or always compare how they look” to others on the platform, and a third “feels an intense pressure to look perfect.”
Meanwhile, the Centers for Reported Disease Control and Prevention a suicide epidemic among people aged 10 to 24 in the United States. After a stable period from 2000 to 2007, the suicide rate in this age group increased 56% from 2007 to 2017, making suicide the second leading cause of death among young people, after accidents, according to the CDC.
We don’t know for sure why suicide has become such a crisis for young people, and Mosseri objected to the idea that there was a link between Instagram and suicide during his hearing on Wednesday. Corn experts attribute part of the boom to social media and Instagram’s own research showed that among users who reported having suicidal thoughts, 6% in the United States reported these thoughts to Instagram. A quarter of teens who said they were not feeling “well enough” said these thoughts started on Instagram, the Guardian reported.
Instagram has taken steps to make the app safer for young people. In May, they let users hide as accounts on their posts or on their feed posts, but that didn’t really depressurize the platform. Realistically, remove likes without getting rid of other items from quantified popularity does not cover enough ground to have a lasting impact. The company also recently abandoned its attempt to Kids Instagram, which would have been a modified version of the youth app that included additional controls. This was criticized during Wednesday’s hearing, but Mosseri still seems to think it’s a good idea to create a safe social media environment for young people – Instagram Kids just might not be the best answer. .
And, just the day before his audition, Mosseri announced new tools and features designed to keep young people safe on Instagram. These tools include orientation for teens on different topics, a Take a Break feature, and tools for parents to track their children’s time online.
If you want to talk to someone or if you have suicidal thoughts, Crisis text line provides free, confidential 24/7 support. Text CRISIS to 741741 to be put in touch with a crisis counselor. Contact the NAMI Hotline at 1-800-950-NAMI, Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, or by email [emailÂ protected]. You can also call the National lifeline for suicide prevention at 1-800-273-8255. here is a list of international resources.
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