Parents slammed Facebook on Thursday, saying they “don’t trust anything on social media right now” following a report referring to the platform’s own internal documents admitting their products, including Instagram harms children’s mental health.
Speaking from California, mother Danielle Bloom, a psychotherapist, told “Fox & Friends First” Thursday that “there isn’t a single photo on Instagram that isn’t filtered that shows a facade of perfect moments, which only worsens the feeling of children and adults alike. about their body image, about their life, about their situation. “
Bloom’s daughter Ruby, 11, explained that social media can leave a child “traumatized.”
FACEBOOK STOPPING “INSTAGRAM KIDS” BUT INSISTS “THAT’S A GOOD THING”
“You can accidentally click on something and see something really bad and it could hurt you for life,” she said.
Blooms’ comments come as leaked internal documents reportedly showed Facebook was describing children as young as 10 as an “untapped audience.”
“Why do we care about tweens? The New York Post reported, citing a 2020 document obtained by the Wall Street Journal.
“They are a valuable but untapped audience.”
Facebook has reportedly formed a team to study tweens and how its platforms can compete with new social media apps, including Snapchat and TikTok.
Bloom said the reference to tweens as an “untapped audience” is “terrible.”
She noted that children were homeschooled for a year and a half during the coronavirus pandemic and said she was concerned that social media apps “want them to be even more addicted and not be children. “.
On Monday, Facebook announced that it would pause the release of “Instagram Kids” following the release of “Facebook Files” and increased scrutiny of the company’s impact on its younger users.
Blooms spoke to “Fox & Friends First” on the same day lawmakers questioned Facebook’s global chief security officer in hearings to find out how well the company was aware of data indicating the harmful effects of platform products on teenage users.
Facebook’s Antigone Davis appeared in a video feed Thursday morning before the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Security to process reports. The hearing opened with the reading of statements from committee members on the session’s intention, which focused on Facebook’s alleged abuse of its position and influence.
Davis read a prepared statement in which she made a seemingly strong defense of Facebook’s practices regarding teens and safety. She highlighted research that Facebook said was more of a help than a barrier to adolescent mental health and well-being.
Facebook’s management has already testified before Congress on several occasions – most recently earlier this year about the spread of disinformation on social media platforms, including Google and Twitter.
This week, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley announced he was tabling legislation that would establish a federal tort against social media companies to hold them accountable if they caused bodily or mental harm to children.
Also appearing on “Fox & Friends First” Thursday, Chicago father-of-six Willie Preston noted that parents have “so much to worry about and social media is at the top of the list right now.”
Preston, who spoke alongside his 11-year-old daughter Brittanie, argued that “there are so many unknowns and known dangerous elements that can come from social media.”
“The fact that these big, huge companies are spending their resources just trying to make sure they make extra money and extend the life of their business through our kids is really scary,” he said. he continued.
“I am glad that someone in Congress is examining this closely and I hope [will] do something about it. ”
In a blog post, Facebook Vice President of Research Pratiti Raychoudhury responded to the Wall Street Journal survey and wrote: “It is just not accurate that this research shows that Instagram is “toxic” to teenage girls. ”
“Research has actually shown that many teens we heard from felt that using Instagram helps them when they are dealing with the kind of difficult times and issues that teens have always faced,” said Raychoudhury continued.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Peter Aitken of FOX Business and Michael Lee of Fox News contributed to this report.