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The head of Instagram says death is necessary for social media to succeed

Ok, maybe comparing it to car deaths wasn’t the best idea.

instagram social media logo and blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

The latest winner of the worst possible take award goes to Instagram boss Adam Mosseri. In response to the scathing articles released by The Wall Street Journal earlier this week about leaked internal documents at Facebook, Mosseri attempted to defend social media with one of the most questionable statements we’ve heard in a long time.

In a recent interview with Peter Kafka on the Recode Media podcast, Mosseri likened social media to automobiles. “We know that more people die than would otherwise because of car accidents, but by and large cars create way more value in the world than they destroy. And I think social media is similar,” says Mosseri.

Yes, you read that correctly. Mosseri basically said that social media, like vehicles, offer a value that is even worth some people having to die for. It probably would have been a good idea to think of a different analogy for this one.

But let’s give Mosseri the benefit of the doubt. What he likely meant to portray was simply that social media offers benefits that outweigh the negatives that also come along with it, which is a fair argument.

Still, you should never bring up death as a consequence of a platform you are trying to defend. Especially when that platform is self-aware of the mental health damage it causes that actually could potentially lead to death. “We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,” reads one of the pages obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

Mosseri obviously missed his mark on this one. In a time of such scrutiny against Facebook, which owns the Mosseri-run Instagram, this statement doesn’t do anything to help with the platform’s redemption. I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear more from Mosseri in the coming days to try and clean up the mess from this terrible take.

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