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Facebook swears the good outweighs the bad on Instagram when it comes to mental health

The company claims Instagram makes difficult times better instead of worse.

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Image: KnowTechie

A couple of weeks ago, The Wall Street Journal put out a scathing report as part of its Facebook Files that claims Instagram is toxic for teen girls and the platform knows it. Now, the platform’s parent company Facebook has come out to refute those claims.

In response to the article, Facebook says that the Journal’s claims are not indicative of the actual internal study that it critiques. The Journal’s article quoted an internal Instagram document that read, “We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls.” Facebook claims that by itself, this statement is a misrepresentation of the documents in question.

The company says that this information was a small part of a much larger internal research discovery that showed that Instagram actually helped a lot of teens in some areas.

The company’s research looked into 12 different areas of possible mental health and found that, while Instagram may negatively affect some teens in those areas, the positive effects tend to outweigh the negatives.

“In fact, in 11 of 12 areas on the slide referenced by the Journal — including serious areas like loneliness, anxiety, sadness, and eating issues — more teenage girls who said they struggled with that issue also said that Instagram made those difficult times better rather than worse,” said Facebook researcher Pratiti Raychoudhury.

What Facebook has basically come out and said is that the good tends to outweigh the bad on Instagram. Though it is aware of the mental health issues it causes to some teens and is hopefully working on ways to fix that, the platform seems content in knowing that “good experiences” outweigh bad experiences on Instagram.

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