Democrat lawmakers have called on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to drop his plans for an “Instagram for Kids” app following recently-released internal research by Instagram that showed that the platform has had a terrible effect on the mental health of its teen users, especially girls, according to Breitbart News.
The researchers concluded that a significant number of teen girls that use Instagram develop body image issues and an increase in anxiety and depression.
Following this report, lawmakers began calling on Zuckerberg to abandon plans to create an “Instagram for Kids” app: “Children and teens are uniquely vulnerable populations online, and these findings paint a clear and devastating picture of Instagram as an app that poses significant threats to young people’s wellbeing,” reads a letter signed by Sen. Ed Markey and Representatives Kathy Castor and Lori Trahan.
The lawmakers added: “When given the opportunity to come clean to us about their knowledge of Instagram’s impact on young users, Facebook provided evasive answers that were misleading and covered up clear evidence of significant harm.”
Markey, Castor, and Trahan concluded, “As the internet—and social media specifically—becomes increasingly engrained in children and teens’ lives, we are deeply concerned that your company continues to fail in its obligation to protect young users and has yet to commit to halt its plans to launch new platforms targeting children and teens.”