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Instagram is not toxic for teens, says Facebook

Facebook has shared more details about its internal research into Instagram's impact on teenage girls as the social media giant hits back at a report on the research after it was made public on The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

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New Delhi Published on: September 28, 2021 10:49 IST
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Instagram is not toxic for teens, says Facebook.

Facebook has shared more details about its internal research into Instagram's impact on teenage girls as the social media giant hits back at a report on the research after it was made public on The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

In a blog post, Facebook Vice President and Head of Research, Pratiti Raychoudhury dismissed the WSJ's assessment of internal research as not accurate and denied the claims that Instagram was toxic for teenage girls.

Raychoudhury said: "It is simply not accurate that this research demonstrates Instagram is 'toxic' for teen girls. The research actually demonstrated that many teens we heard from feel that using Instagram helps them when they are struggling with the kinds of hard moments and issues teenagers have always faced."

Raychoudhury also noted that the internal research cited by WSJ had limitations as it relied on input from only 40 teenagers and was designed to focus on the most negative perceptions of Instagram.

"Our internal research is part of our effort to minimize the bad on our platforms and maximise the good. We have a long track record of using our research, as well as external research and close collaboration with our Safety Advisory Board, Youth Advisors and additional experts and organisations, to inform changes to our apps and provide resources for the people who use them."

On September 14, the WSJ published a story on The Facebook Files focused on data suggesting that Instagram had an extremely damaging effect on teenagers, especially teenage girls.

The newspaper said Facebook was well aware of the harm its products were doing to teens and that the company "has made minimal efforts to address these issues and plays them down in public".

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