(PatrioticPost.com)- The Wall Street Journal has really been doing some tremendous investigative reporting on Facebook lately. They recently broke the story that Facebook was exempting certain VIP users from its terms of service and content moderation.
And last week, the Journal reported that Facebook has repeatedly found that Instagram is harmful to a number of teenagers, especially teenage girls, but they have done nothing to rectify the problem.
Wall Street Journal cited studies Facebook has conducted over the past several years that examine how Instagram affects is younger users. One internal Facebook presentation reveals that, among teens who reported suicidal thoughts, 13 percent of UK users and six percent of American users traced the issue to Instagram.
What’s more, 32 percent of teen girls who said they felt bad about their bodies said Instagram made them feel worse. Facebook also found that 14 percent of American boys said Instagram made them feel worse about themselves.
While Facebook concluded that a large percentage of teens aren’t negatively affected by Instagram, the features that the social media company identified as the most harmful are part of its key makeup.
Researchers warned that Instagram’s Explore page, which serves users curated posts from a wide range of accounts, can push users into content that can be harmful. It also has a culture of posting only the best pictures and moments, and it operates as an addictive product. Together, these aspects of Instagram create a “perfect storm,” the research said.
According to the Journal, top Facebook executives have reviewed this research, and it was cited in a presentation given last year to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Despite this, Facebook is struggling to manage the problem while still keeping users engaged and coming back. What’s more, despite this research, Facebook is planning an Instagram strictly for children under thirteen.
Facebook, naturally, is taking issue with the Wall Street Journal’s reporting, claiming the research in question was taking out of context.
In a blog post Monday, Facebook’s vice president of research, Pratiti Raychoudhury argued that claiming the research shows that Instagram is “toxic” to teenage girls “is simply not accurate.”
Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, also responded in a blog post, saying the Wall Street Journal’s report “contained deliberate mischaracterizations” of what Facebook was trying to do, and assigned “false motives” to the leadership and employees of social media giant.