Instagram is not Toxic for Teens

Facebook has revealed further details regarding its internal research into Instagram’s influence on adolescent girls, in response to a piece published in The Wall Street Journal about the study (WSJ).

Pratiti Raychoudhury, Facebook Vice President and Head of Studies, criticised the WSJ’s appraisal of internal research as inaccurate in a blog post, and denied accusations that Instagram was hazardous for adolescent girls.

According to Raychoudhury: “The claim that our study proves Instagram is “toxic” for teen girls is simply false. According to the findings, many of the youth we spoke with believe that using Instagram helps them cope with the kinds of difficult situations and difficulties that teenagers have always experienced.” (Also read: By the end of 2021, WhatsApp will no longer work on THESE smartphones: (See the complete list here.)

Raychoudhury also pointed out that the internal study referenced by the WSJ had flaws, as it drew on the opinions of only 40 teenagers and was tailored to focus on the most negative aspects of Instagram.

“Our internal research is part of our endeavour to reduce the bad and increase the good on our platforms. We have a long history of using internal and external research, as well as close collaboration with our Safety Advisory Board, Youth Advisors, and other experts and organisations, to inform changes to our apps and provide resources for users.”

The Wall Street Journal ran a report on The Facebook Files on September 14 that focused on statistics demonstrating that Instagram had a particularly negative impact on youth, particularly teenage girls. (Also read: Google is discontinuing app support for THESE devices; see whether yours is on the list.)

According to the publication, Facebook was fully aware of the harm its products were causing kids, but “has taken limited efforts to solve these issues and plays them down in public.”

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