US Senators Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn said they will investigate Facebook Inc. (FB)’s internal research on the impact of its Instagram photo and video sharing service on young users. A survey by The Wall Street Journal revealed that Facebook knew that the app was harmful to some young users, which prompted the two senators to carry out the above-mentioned actions.
Blumenthal is the Democratic chairman of the Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security Subcommittee (Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security Subcommittee), and Blackburn is the highest-ranking Republican on the committee. The two also said on Tuesday that they are in contact with a Facebook whistleblower and “will use all the resources at our disposal to investigate what Facebook knows and when they know, including requesting more documents and allowing witnesses to testify.” The two senators said in a statement: “The heavy coverage of the Wall Street Journal may be just the tip of the iceberg.”
Research conducted by Facebook in the past three years found that Instagram is particularly harmful to some female adolescents. According to a slide in 2019 seen by the Wall Street Journal, the researchers concluded that “we cause one-third of female adolescents to have more serious body image disorders”. According to this study, the teenagers surveyed by the company also accused Instagram of causing increased anxiety and depression.