Instagram chief agrees to testify before Senate

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, will testify before the Senate early next month about the social media platform’s influence on children.

The appearance in front of the Senate Consumer Protection Subcommittee is scheduled for the week of Dec. 6.

“After bombshell reports about Instagram’s toxic impacts, we want to hear straight from the company’s leadership why it uses powerful algorithms that push poisonous content to children driving them down rabbit holes to dark places, and what it will do to make its platform safer,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), the panel’s chair, said in a statement.

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“I appreciate Mr. Mosseri voluntarily coming to the Subcommittee and hope that he will support specific legislative reforms and solutions, particularly in its immensely potent algorithms,” he added.

Mosseri uploaded a video to his Twitter on Wednesday touting the work the platform has done to improve experiences online for young users.

“These are important issues but we have shared goals,” he said, referring to Congress. “We all want young people to be safe when they’re online.”

How social media affects teens and children has cut through the general uproar about Big Tech companies to become a major focus for Washington.

Documents on Meta — the newly formed parent of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — provided to Congress and reporters by whistleblower Frances Haugen have made the company a particular target.

One set of slides first shared with The Wall Street Journal showed Instagram making one-third of teen girls feel worse about their bodies.

A collection of state attorneys general earlier this month launched an investigation into whether Meta violated consumer protection laws by promoting the social media app to young users despite knowing its use is associated with harming their health.

Lawmakers have also asked Snapchat and Youtube to provide any internal research on the effect of their platforms on young users.