Lawmakers ask Facebook to respond to how it affects children’s mental health

Lawmakers ask Facebook to respond to how it affects children's mental health

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Lawmakers from both parties and from houses of Congress are demanding answers from Facebook on how its services affect the mental health of adolescents and children.

The questions follow a Wall Street Journal article published on Tuesday, which found that internal studies at Facebook had determined that its social network Instagram had a significant negative impact on teenage girls.

The report found that Facebook was aware of this effect, including an internal presentation that 32% of teenage girls said Instagram made them feel worse when they were bad about their bodies. felt

Instagram’s public policy manager Karina Newton responded to the report in a blog post, saying the company was looking for ways to steer users toward different types of content, rather than focusing on more focused posts. on body image. There may be negative self-comparisons. .

Now, a group of Democrats from both houses of Congress are asking Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for answers in a letter written Wednesday. In addition, the leaders of the Senate Trade Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, without Marsha Blackburn, R-Ten. and Richard Blumenthal, D-Con, announced a Facebook investigation into the allegations.

Senators said on Tuesday they were “in contact with a Facebook whistleblower and would use any resources at our disposal to investigate what Facebook knew and when they knew it – including by looking for additional documents and access to testimonies “. The prosecution was involved.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about Instagram during a press event at Facebook headquarters.

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Zuckerberg, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., And Representatives Kathy Castor, D-Fla., And Lori Trahan, D-Mass. In its letter to Facebook, Facebook called for abandoning its plan to launch a version of Instagram. Children All three lawmakers have been strong advocates for protecting the privacy and health of children online and have criticized Facebook’s discovery of such a platform in the past.

Lawmakers also asked in the letter whether Zuckerberg had reviewed the internal studies of Instagram’s children’s mental health referenced in the journal’s report. It asked for an update on Facebook’s plans for a youth-focused platform and to commission internal and external research into the mental health of its child and adolescent users.

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