Facebook is once again being accused of a host of sins, this time with regards to its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The company has been hit with lawsuits and investigations over its use of user data.
The United States Senate Committee on Consumer Protection conducted a hearing with Antigone Davis, Facebook’s director of security, on September 30, 2021, during which she was forced to answer questions and listen to criticism from both Republican and Democratic senators. The conference was called in response to a new story published in The Wall Street Journal as part of a series of investigations.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook officials approved the creation of a children’s version of Instagram in order to compete with TikTok and Snapchat, which are popular among the respective age groups. The company’s research team attempted to find out how to modify the app’s design and content to appeal to a new audience, which included not only adolescents aged 15 to 18, but also youngsters under the age of 13.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the business is fully aware of the detrimental effect its social networks have on teenage users. Facebook’s global head of security, Antigone Davis, rejected the committee’s conclusions and the Wall Street Journal’s reporting, telling Reuters that the firm was doing further internal study on the subject.
In recent weeks, numerous stories regarding the world’s biggest social network have emerged in America’s top business magazine. Furthermore, on September 20, 2021, editor Brad Reagan met online with reporters Jeff Horwitz, Deepa Seetharaman, Justin Scheck, and Georgia Wells, all of whom work for the Wall Street Journal and have covered Facebook for years.
They wrote a series of articles based on substantial internal Facebook papers that detailed a variety of problems that damage Facebook’s platform and how the company’s management has failed to address them in many areas.
Hearings in the Senate
During the session, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal remarked, “This study had a bombshell impact,” adding, “It is clear proof that Facebook knows about the detrimental effects of its programs on children and that the business is concealing these facts and conclusions.” Senators pressed Davis on how much data Facebook had on users under the age of 13, how much the business sees teenagers as a possible new audience, and if she was aware that Instagram had caused some youngsters consider suicide.
Children under the age of 13 are not permitted to use Facebook, according to Davis, who also said that 0.5 percent of teenagers who took part in the company’s study connected their “suicidal ideas” to Instagram, which is lower than the Wall Street Journal’s figures. Senator Ted Cruz has requested that Facebook disclose the results of its study into the link between Instagram and teen suicide.
Is Instagram causing harm to teenagers?
“Instagram has long been silent on issues like eating disorders. It wasn’t until Molly Russell, a 14-year-old girl, committed herself that modest measures were made. The odds were stacked against her. It was dubbed a “perfect storm” by your own researchers. According to the research, Instagram still considers a person’s anxieties, as well as the vulnerability of females. And they feel as if they’re caught in a web that promotes eating disorders and self-harm “Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from the United States, stated as much.
“There is significant evidence that using Instagram and Facebook promotes body dissatisfaction, particularly when seeing beautiful pictures of others, altered images, and Selfies, as well as browsing material with specific hashtags.”
This was not the result of a dissatisfied Facebook employee’s complaint. Senator Blumenthal stated in a statement, “It is an official study performed by the Facebook team, which made findings based on its research, and the results of which have been conveyed to senior levels of Facebook management.”
Because of the low amount of likes, I’m depressed.
Researchers from several institutions throughout the United States performed an ostensibly independent research with over a thousand 8th-9th grade public school students from various states.
“Many people nowadays are aware of the issue of social media bullying: you’re told you’re overweight, unattractive, and useless. However, what we discovered in our research may be more severe. The fundamental premise is that you are always comparing yourself to others, despite the fact that there is no way to attain that ideal image outside of social media.
In our research, we invited kids to establish accounts and told them they’d be interacting with each other on social media for a while. All they had to do was say who’s profile they liked and who they didn’t like. And what we discovered was very startling. If an adolescent received the second-highest amount of likes, for example, he or she had depression-like characteristics such as extreme anxiety and low self-esteem. These children were never bullied, tormented, or harassed in any way. They just received less likes than others, according to David Yeager, an associate professor of developmental psychology at the University of Texas.
A Facebook employee whistleblower will be present at the second hearing, which will take place next Tuesday, October 5.
On Sunday, the whistleblower is scheduled to disclose her true name in an appearance on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” It is known that the whistleblower was a former Facebook employee who resigned and took the entire findings of the lengthy investigation with her.