Instagram draws the attention of the Senate
Instagram draws the attention of the Senate

After the Wall Street Journal reported on the impact of the Facebook platform on Instagram on mental health, a Senate committee plans to bring technology officials to Capitol Hill.

Senator Martha Blackburn, a senior member of the Senate Consumer Protection Trade Subcommittee, announced the hearing.

Blackburn said the meeting will take place in two weeks and will include representatives from Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, Snap and YouTube. The date of the meeting and the exact number of company participants have not yet been determined.

The newspaper's report showed, based on internal Facebook documents, that the company was aware of the significant negative impact of the Instagram photo-sharing app on girls.

At a March hearing, CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified while answering questions about children and mental health. He said studies he's seen have shown that using social apps to connect with others can provide positive mental health benefits.

While the research cited in the paper report doesn't exactly show negative effects, it does appear to contradict Facebook's narrative about mental health.

This angered many lawmakers from all parties in Congress and the House of Representatives. Some people have urged Facebook to abandon its plans to create an Instagram product focused on children.

“We have received a lot of anecdotal information about the impact of social media on children from parents, teachers and pediatricians,” Blackburn said. Facebook understands this. But she chose not to make it public.

Instagram is causing problems for Facebook

Blackburn said his employees met with a whistleblower working for Facebook. He can see the documents published by the newspaper.

Blackburn said she hopes this convention will stand out because of its partisan nature. She explained that she was working on this work with Senator Richard Blumenthal, chair of the subcommittee.

The two are looking at how to teach children the rules of social media. and laws designed to protect them online, such as COPPA, the Children's Online Privacy Act.

"We are determined to do something bipartisan to protect our children in virtual space," she added. This enables them to use the Internet for research purposes while protecting themselves and their online privacy.

While users often search for this type of content, we are looking for ways to get them to focus on different topics, Karina Newton, Instagram's director of public policy, wrote in a blog post.

"We are cautiously optimistic that these notifications will help people find content that inspires them," she added. The part of the culture that focuses more on human appearance has changed.

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