Instagram is toxic for young teenage girls according to a report by Facebook itself

Instagram is toxic for young teenage girls according to a report by Facebook itself

“32% of girls say that when they feel bad about their body, Instagram makes them feel worse, ” says an internal report called ‘The Facebook Files’, as described by the Wall Street Journal . This in-depth investigation of the social network corroborates something that many experts had previously warned about, that the social network generates a significant health problem, increases anxiety, and makes you feel less valuable.

Despite repeated warnings about the negative impact of Instagram on many young women, to date, the official stance and public speeches of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook executives such as Adam Mosseri, CEO of Instagram, had been to downplay the issue.

When Zuckerberg was asked about children and mental health in March 2021, his response was “Using social apps to connect with other people can have mental health benefits.” An answer opposite to what his internal report had concluded.

Since 2019 Facebook knows the negative impact of Instagram on many girls

According to the report, it has been concluded that “comparisons on Instagram can change the way young women see themselves.” This report was published on an internal board in March 2020, but it is not the first to be produced.

Already in 2019, a first internal study concluded that “we worsen body image problems in one in three adolescent girls” and also that “adolescents blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression.”

The impact goes further, as the report indicates that among adolescents who reported having suicidal thoughts, 13% of British users and 6% of Americans attributed the desire to commit suicide to Instagram. Considerably high percentage taking into account the extensive use of Instagram among the young population.

The response from the Instagram team

The impact goes further, as the report indicates that among adolescents who reported having suicidal thoughts, 13% of British users and 6% of Americans attributed the desire to commit suicide to Instagram. Considerably high percentage taking into account the extensive use of Instagram among the young population.

Before the publication of this report, Instagram, they have issued a statement trying to justify their position. They argue that they continue to support the findings of that research and demonstrate their “commitment to understanding complex and difficult problems.”

“At Instagram, we look at the benefits and risks of what we do. We are proud that our app can give a voice to those who have been marginalized, that it can help friends and family stay connected from all corners of the world, that it can promote social change, but we also know that it can be a place where people have negative experiences, “they point out from the social network.

One of the measures that  Instagram has taken to combat this negative impact is by hiding number of ‘likes’. One of the solutions they have found is to avoid negative feelings and they promise to continue exploring new functions. 

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