Instagram defends itself: says it is not toxic or creates self-esteem problems


Silhouettes of users on the Instagram logo.

Silhouettes of users on the Instagram logo.
Reuters

Instagram has denied being a toxic platform for adolescent girls and contributing to the creation of body image problems, in response to an investigation on the subject published by ‘The Wall Street Journal (WSJ)’, and has stated that most young girls with problems consider that Instagram it helps them instead of hurting them.

A report published by WSJ in mid-September warned of the existence of an internal report that Instagram became aware of in March 2020 that indicated the negative impact that comparisons could have on adolescent users of the social network.

Instagram research found that “32 percent of adolescent girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse“According to WSJ, who came to describe the platform as” toxic “for teenagers.

Now, Facebook, owner of Instagram, has responded to this investigation with a statement and has assured that “not accurate” when stating that Instagram is a toxic social network for young girls. It has also unveiled new data from the March 2020 research and other recent ones on the subject.

First, Facebook has qualified the WSJ data and stated that only among minors who reported having body image problems, 32 percent believed that Instagram made them worse, and not one in three of all adolescent users, as initially suggested.

Adolescents affected by 11 problems in 12 areas studied, including loneliness, anxiety, sadness, and eating disordersIn fact, they claimed that Instagram not only did not make them worse but it made them feel better.

Body image was the only one of the 12 areas analyzed in which adolescent girls reported feeling worse after using Instagram, although “most adolescents with body image problems said that Instagram made them improve (22 percent) or not it had an impact (45 percent), “according to the US company.

Facebook also noted that the March 2020 research data came from only one study of 40 adolescent girls, so had “limitations“, and that its purpose was” to inform internal conversations about adolescents’ most negative perceptions of Instagram. ”

Likewise, the company has made reference to another study carried out by Pew Research in which most adolescents affirm that social networks have positive effects, with 81 percent saying it helps them connect.

At the same time, this research shows that 43 percent of adolescents say they feel pressure to publish content that makes them ‘look good’ in front of others.

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