Part of the toxicity of the tech industry is throwing one another under the bus when you’re hit hard by the US Congress in a heated debate.
That is exactly what the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri did on Wednesday. He was basically defending his company against the fact that Instagram is alleged to leave kids with horrible effects.
Mosseri was basically grilled by the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security on Instagram’s effect on young kids’ mental wellbeing.
Well, just like any other person, he defended his company and threw the blame on the entire tech industry.
“The reality is that keeping young people safe online is not just about one company,” Mosseri said on Wednesday. He said that child safety was an “industry-wide issue.”
He added that social media companies including his own, Instagram should adhere to these standards in order to earn protections under Section 230 that basically protects tech companies from being liable for what users post on their platforms.
He then added that more kids use TikTok and YouTube more than they use Instagram.
“We’ve been calling for regulation for nearly three years now, and from where I sit, there’s no area more important than youth safety,” he said.
One of the main reasons Instagram has become this dystopian personality comparison planet when compared to other services like TikTok is that Instagram was specially designed for photo sharing and targeted at young people.
But documents from Facebook’s own research leaked to the Wall Street Journal as part of their series called “The Facebook Files,” found that “Instagram is harmful to a sizable percentage of [teens], most notably teenage girls.”
In fact, the research found out that social comparison and body image issues have more negative effects on kids when compared to adults.
In fact, researchers found that half of all teen girls on Instagram think they always compare their appearance to others on the platform while a third feel intense pressure to look perfect.
It’s like LinkedIn, a place to make yourself feel useless…Instagram is like a place to flex your new body – thanks to cool photo editing apps that help IG models create the alien-perfect body.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reported an epidemic of suicide persistent among young people between the age of just 10 to about 24 in the country.
After a stable period from 2000 to 2007, the rate of suicide among that age group increased by 56 percent from 2007 to 2017, making suicide the second leading cause of death for young people, following accidents, according to the CDC.
Even though there isn’t a well-researched correlation between suicidal teens and Instagram and Mosseri argued against the notion that his company is to be blamed for kids killing themselves over unattainable body images.
But experts say otherwise. Their researches showed that about 6% of those with suicidal thoughts in the US can trace the origin of those thoughts back to Instagram, hence, Instagram is still to be blamed!
A quarter of teens who said they didn’t feel “good enough” said those thoughts started on Instagram, the Guardian reported.
However, Zuck and his team from IG aren’t just sitting down while raking in the billions from advertisements.
In fact, the company did make some efforts to resolve these issues by introducing the feature that allows a user to hide their like counts which will reduce the compulsive validation rush everyone seeks on social media.
They also introduced a Take a Break feature similar to YouTube and a tool for parents to track the amount of time their kids spend online
Meta also ousted the Instagram Kids idea recently. The idea was to build a kid-focused Instagram experience in a separate application that will include additional controls.
The concept of the app also led to Mosseri getting more grilled up by the Senate subcommittee on Wednesday.