Facebook to testify in Senate after report finds Instagram harms mental health

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A Facebook executive will testify in front of the Senate after reports from The Wall Street Journal showed the social media giant downplayed the toxic impact its Instagram platform has on teenage girls.

Facebook’s Global Head of Safety Antigone Davis is scheduled to testify before the Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection on Sept. 30, The Washington Post reported.

The Wall Street Journal reported that research conducted by Facebook “repeatedly” showed that Instagram negatively impacted teenage girls’ mental health while executives continued to downplay this impacts, including in remarks before Congress.

Instagram’s Karina Newton, the company’s head of public policy, wrote in a blog post following The Wall Street Journal’s report that Instagram “will help point people towards content that inspires and uplifts them.”

Davis is expected to discuss kids’ safety amid widespread criticism that followed this report, including some from government leaders.

“We hear from teachers and parents and pediatricians and child psychologists and counselors of the addictive nature of the social media apps,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who is the committee’s ranking member, told The Washington Post. 

The whistleblower, who supposedly provided the leaks that fueled The Wall Street Journal’s report, is said to be providing lawmakers with documents soon, The Post said. 

The Post added the whistleblower is expected to go public before the end of the year, per reports from an anonymous aide to Blackburn.

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