For The First Time, Instagram’s CEO Will Testify Before Congress

The social media platform has been accused of exacerbating young people’s mental health difficulties.

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri will testify before Congress for the first time on how the photo and video site is attempting to keep young people safe, amid claims that it is damaging their mental health.

“These are significant challenges, but we have common objectives. We all want young people to stay safe when using the internet “In a video broadcast on Twitter last week, Mosseri, who has three children, stated.

The hearing will be held on Dec. 8 at 2:30 p.m. ET by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security. Sen. Richard Blumenthal stated Wednesday that the meeting, titled Protecting Kids Online: Instagram and Reforms for Young Users, will look into “bombshell findings regarding Instagram’s poisonous impacts.”

Sen. Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, has been holding a series of hearings on child safety.

“We want to know why the corporation employs powerful algorithms to push poisonous information to children, leading them down rabbit holes to dark places, and what it plans to do to make its platform safer,” Blumenthal said in a statement on Wednesday. “I appreciate Mr. Mosseri’s willingness to attend the subcommittee, and I hope he will support specific legislative improvements and remedies, particularly in the subcommittee’s extremely powerful algorithms.”

After The Wall Street Journal published an article about Instagram’s internal research showing the platform is “toxic” to teen girls, aggravating body image issues for some young people, Blumenthal began scheduling hearings. It will be Blumenthal’s and Tennessee Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn’s eighth bipartisan hearing on the dangers that children face online from social media.

“Instagram has already been exposed for its repeated failings to protect children’s privacy,” Blackburn said on Wednesday. “Now is the moment to take action. I’m looking forward to talking about concrete ways to improve our children’s and grandchildren’s safety and data security.”

Instagram is a subsidiary of Meta, which was previously known as Facebook. Instagram claims that the study is being misrepresented, and that it also connects young people with family and friends, and in some cases helps them deal with body image concerns, or that the study had no influence. Instagram has been working on new mental health solutions, such as a feature that reminds users to take a break from the platform.

In September, Antigone Davis, Facebook’s global head of safety, testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, which was chaired by Senator Richard Blumenthal. In October, the Senate subcommittee heard from executives from Snapchat, TikTok, and Google-owned YouTube on online child safety.

Instagram is being scrutinized by more than just US politicians. A coalition of state attorneys general announced last month that they are examining whether Meta broke state consumer protection laws by pushing Instagram to children and teens despite knowing about the service’s risks.