Facebook has kept internal research secret for two years that suggests its Instagram app makes body image issues worse for teenage girls, according to a leak from the tech firm.
Since at least 2019, staff at the company have been studying the impact of their product on its younger users’ states of mind. Their research has repeatedly found it is harmful for a large proportion, and particularly teenage girls.
“We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,” said a slide from one internal presentation in 2019, seen by the Wall Street Journal. “Thirty-two per cent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse,” a subsequent presentation reported in March 2020.
Another slide said: “Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression. This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.”
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