Instagram is a visual social media platform that is popular among young people. The app allows users to share photos and videos with their followers, which can then be liked and commented on.
Some research has suggested that in young people, Instagram may be linked to body image concerns and eating disorders. However, studies on the subject have produced mixed results.
Now, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri was invited to the Senate to talk about the potential harms of youths using the said platform. Here’s what he needs to say.
Instagram CEO in Senate
Lawmakers grilled Instagram’s head, Adam Mosseri, on the dangers of social media use for youngsters during a lengthy hearing Wednesday. The senators made it clear that lawmakers are working on legislation to safeguard children online, and that the age of self-regulation for Big Tech has come to an end.
The first time Mosseri has testified before Congress, he appeared before the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security as part of a series of crises affecting social media behemoth Meta.
In the session, Mosseri pushed for the creation of an “industry body” to establish best practices in online safety for kids, particularly regarding verifying age and creating age-appropriate experiences. Mosseri stated that Instagram could work with lawmakers to achieve the objective of keeping youngsters safe on the internet.
Mosseri, like Meta has previously said, that on the majority of topics such as anxiety and depression, research showed Instagram made it simpler for adolescent users to manage. He continued by stating that Meta invests more resources in safety measures than its rivals and that internal research projects have motivated security enhancements.
“Teenagers have always spent time with their friends, developed new interests and explored their identities. Today they’re doing those things on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat,” Mosseri told the senators. “I firmly believe that Instagram and the internet more broadly can be a positive force in young people’s lives. I’m inspired every day by teens on Instagram.”
Frances Haugen testimony
Mosseri was invited to the Senate in relation with Facebook controversy in the past involving ex-Facebook employee Frances Haugen.
The papers, which were leaked and shared with lawmakers on the Senate subcommittee, were distributed to a group of news publications including CBS News in October via a legislative source.
Although Mosseri spoke good points in the session, some senators believed otherwise about the setup of the social media platform.
“Facebook’s own researchers have been warning management, including yourself Mr. Mosseri, for years about Instagram’s harmful impacts on teen’s mental health and well-being,” Senator Richard Blumenthal, the chairman of the subcommittee, said in his opening statement. “Facebook knew, it did the research, and the studies but it continued to profit.”
The fifth hearing in a series conducted by Blackburn and Blumenthal about the dangers to children posed by social media firms is scheduled for tomorrow, with many expecting a bipartisan crackdown on Big Tech’s dominance as a result.
Instagram said in late September that it will put a hold on development of its “Instagram Kids” platform for youngsters under the age of 13 following the Wall Street Journal expose.