For years, Facebook has been pushing to introduce new tools for young users despite concerns from experts and advocates. However, according to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, the social media giant may have been doing this despite knowing that its platforms can be harmful to young users.
According to the report, an internal Facebook report found that it made body image issues worse for teenage girls, and that “teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression.” These revelations led several prominent lawmakers this week to send an open letter to Facebook asking the company to reconsider its plan to create “Instagram for Kids.”
“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 wrote in their letter. “We are deeply concerned that your company continues to fail in its obligation to protect young users and has yet to commit to halt its plans to launch new platforms targeting children and teens.”
Facebook has been steadfast in its dedication to targeting young users, so it’s unlikely that the company will listen. But at least more awareness is being raised of the problems that social media can pose for children.
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