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Facebook Appears for Senate Hearing

Representatives from Facebook will soon return to Congress, where they will resume their favourite pastime: being yelled at by legislators about how they are destroying America. According to The Washington Post, the lucky company representative this time is Antigone Davis, global head of safety, who will be facing claims that Instagram (also owned by) is hazardous for children’s mental health. These assertions have been around for a while, but they’ve gotten a lot of attention recently, thanks to the publishing of the “Facebook Files,” a series of articles by the Wall Street Journal based on hacked internal Facebook emails.

The documents, which were provided by a whistleblower, reveal that Instagram researchers have undertaken internal studies into the issue of children’s mental health and are acutely aware of how harmful the app can be, particularly to adolescent girls. As a result of all of this, the Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection has scheduled a hearing for next Thursday. The same whistleblower who shared the disclosures with the Journal also appears to have provided “reams of documents” with the offices of Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn, the subcommittee’s ranking member.

Blackburn has also announced that she expected representatives from other social media companies, including TikTok, YouTube, Snap, and Twitter, to attend the meeting. But, other from Davis, it’s unclear who else will show up. The “Facebook Files” have prompted new indignation over social media’s societal implications, generating an excessive amount of controversy around a firm that isn’t exactly new to it. The Instagram discoveries, in particular, have revealed how thoroughly the business researched the detrimental consequences of their product on the mental health of young females.

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