The head of Instagram is going before Congress during the week of Dec. 6 to explain what his platform will be doing to address concerns that it is creating a mentally unhealthy environment for teenagers.
On Wednesday, Instagram's top executive Adam Mosseri laid out a preview of what he intends to address when he speaks to lawmakers. In a two-minute-long video posted on Twitter, Mosseri said that as a parent of three children he considers the conversation about online safety and privacy to be paramount before walking through some of the ways Instagram has tried to boost both over the years.
Mosseri acknowledged that more work needed to be done, but he reiterated his readiness to talk to lawmakers about finding the best way forward.
“I’m going to be talking about these issues with Congress relatively soon,” Mosseri said. “These are important issues, but we all have shared goals. We all want young people to be safe when they’re online.”
There's an important discussion happening right now about keeping young people safe online. I've been thinking a lot about how Instagram shows up, and I'm looking forward to sharing more of the work we're doing in the weeks ahead __ pic.twitter.com/dLQNDh6G34— Adam Mosseri _ (@mosseri) November 24, 2021
His appearance before Congress comes as outrage remains following the publication of internal Facebook documents that showed that the company was aware of the adverse impact Instagram can have on teenagers, particularly teenage girls. The testimony of whistleblower Frances Haugen before Congress following the revelations only added to lawmakers’ ire against the company.
Representatives for Facebook — the company recently changed its name to Meta and is the parent company of Instagram — accused journalists of cherry picking only the most negative features of its research in their reporting. Instagram launched a series of new protections following the leaks and also shelved plans for a version tailored for children.
In September, Antigone Davis, the global head of safety for Meta, disputed the reporting about its research, but senators remained concerned.
Following Haugen's testimony in October, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., wrote a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg that suggested his company misled Congress and requested either he or Mosseri appear before his subcommittee.
A spokeswoman for Meta told the New York Times that there was no date set yet for when Mosseri would appear before Congress, but it was working to finalize when he would appear.