Mark Zuckerberg blocks initiatives to protect teenagers’ mental health on Facebook and Instagram
Mark Zuckerberg, owner of Meta, has repeatedly blocked initiatives to protect the mental health of teenagers who use Facebook and Instagram, according to emails from the company that were made public in a lawsuit filed by 42 American states against the company.
The lawsuit, which began last month, accuses the company of intentionally putting the health of millions of teenagers at risk in pursuit of profit.
The documents reveal that in 2019, several high-ranking company executives presented Zuckerberg with a proposal to disable an Instagram tool known as the “beauty filter”.
This tool changes the appearance of the face in photos and videos posted by users. Critics claim that this filter harms teenagers’ self-esteem by creating unattainable aesthetic standards.
After leaving the proposal unanswered for almost a year, Zuckerberg vetoed the initiative and the filter remained available to users. He claimed that there was demand for this type of tool and that there was no data indicating that they would be harmful to adolescents’ mental health.
After the release of these emails, Meta said that filters are a standard in applications and that the company offers several tools to help parents control how their children use social networks.