For the last three years, Facebook has studied how its Instagram photo-sharing app affects the mental health of its millions of young users, and the firm’s researchers have repeatedly found that Instagram is toxic to a sizable percentage of them, particularly teenage girls, according to internal Facebook documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal.
“We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,” said one slide from a 2019 presentation by researchers that was posted to Facebook’s internal message board and viewed by the WSJ.
“Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression,” said another slide seen by the WSJ. “This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.”
The Instagram documents are part of a trove of internal