According to the media outlet, Facebook researchers have repeatedly found that the photo-sharing platform is toxic for teenage girls. In addition, it detailed that the company’s researchers have been conducting studies for the past three years on how the application affects its millions of young users.
In that sense, it explains that among teens who reported having suicidal thoughts, 13% of British users and 6% of American users expressed the desire to commit suicide on Instagram.
WSJ details that on average, teens in the United States spend 50% more of their time on Instagram than on Facebook. The documents also show that the company has made minimal effort to address these issues and similarly downplays them in public.
Instagram is toxic, UK authorities confirm
Back in 2017, the UK’s Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), had already warned about the consequences Instagram was having on the lives of young Britons. A report by the body detailed that Instagram and Snapchat are the most damaging apps for young people’s mental health and well-being.
It also explained that the rates of anxiety and depression have increased 75% in the United Kingdom in the last 25 years. In that sense, he indicated that this rate of anxiety is directly related to the use of social networks.
“Social media has become a space in which we form and build relationships, shape self-identity, express ourselves and learn about the world around us; it is intrinsically linked to mental health,” said Shirley Cramer CBE, chief executive of RSPH.