Instagram chief Adam Mosseri will testify before the Senate for the first time as part of a series of hearings about online safety for children and teens. To new York TimesMosseri’s hearing will be held on December 6.
Mosseri’s upcoming testimony comes after Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) wrote a letter Facebook (now Meta) CEO Mark Zuckerberg asked that either he or Mosseri attend a Senate hearing.
Mosseri posted a video responding to the news of his upcoming appearance on Capitol Hill. He discussed growing concerns about the safety of teens online, then outlined past actions Instagram has taken to protect young users, such as making young teen accounts private by default and the ads they see. restricting the type.
“I’m going to be talking to Congress about these issues relatively soon,” Mosseryk said, “These are important issues, but we all have common goals. We all want young people to be safe when they are online.”
When reports leaked from Instagram about its information in September dangerous effect On Teenage Girls, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transport Didn’t take it lightly. The committee first questioned Facebook global head of security Antigone Davis, who was reticent to answer direct questions from the Senate. Then weeks later, the committee heard the testimony of Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former civil integrity product manager who leaked thousands of internal documents known as “Facebook PapersAt his hearing, Haugen told the Senate that Facebook cares more about profits than user safety.
“I am disappointed that Facebook is unwilling to be completely transparent with me, other members of Congress and the public, and that it appears to have withheld important information from us about adolescent mental health and addiction.” wrote Senator Blumenthal, who chairs the Senate committee that hosts these hearings. “When I asked for specific information about Instagram and teens in an August letter, Facebook provided apparently misleading and misleading answers that are now directly disputed by Ms. Haugen.”
Now, after hearing from executives from Snap, TikTok and YouTube last month, the committee will reconvene to hear from the head of Instagram himself. Given the committee’s demonstrated concern about Instagram’s relationship to the onset of eating disorders in adolescence, it is expected that Mosseri will be questioned about leaked internal studies that Meta reported on the effects of Instagram on adolescent girls. held about.
internal study obtained by wall street journal and later published by Meta itself, which found that Instagram makes body image issues worse for one in three teenage girls, and blames Instagram for the increase in teen anxiety and depression. Among teens with suicidal thoughts, the study noted that 6% of users on Instagram reported wishing to die by suicide. Plus, 32% of teen girls surveyed reported that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made those feelings worse.
Shortly after these documents were leaked, Mosseri announced that Instagram would stop manufacturing Instagram Kids, Meta already has products like Messenger Kids, which lets users under 13 to chat with people their parents approve of.
“While we stand by the need to develop this experience, we have decided to halt this project,” Mosseri wrote, “This will give us time to work with parents, experts, policy makers and regulators to voice their concerns and demonstrate the value and importance of this project to young teens online today.”
But critics are skeptical of Meta’s ability to responsibly build an Instagram Kids product. Facebook is reportedly continuing to survey teens for ad targeting, according to a research published this month.
Senator Blumenthal wrote to Zuckerberg, “It is urgent and necessary for you or Mr. Adam Mosseri to testify to set the record straight and provide members of Congress and parents with a plan for how you will protect our children.” will do.”