Sunday, March 20, 2022

FACEBOOK VS CNN - FIGHT!: Brian Stelter's Facebook DMs Leaked, Exec Attempts to Explain

Source: MSN

Published: October 3, 2021

By: Josh Feldman

CNN’s Brian Stelter kicked off Sunday’s Reliable Sources grilling Facebook executive Nick Clegg over the serious scrutiny around the social media giant.

The Wall Street Journal ran a series of stunning reports recently on internal research conducted by Facebook, provided by a whistleblower who is going public on 60 Minutes. One of the most serious revelations is just how much Facebook knows that Instagram has been an alarmingly toxic place for teen girls.

The Journal reported that part of Facebook’s findings showed that “among teens who reported suicidal thoughts, 13% of British users and 6% of American users traced the desire to kill themselves to Instagram.”

Stelter’s 20-minute interview started by asking Clegg directly, “Are you willing to acknowledge that Facebook is contributing to society’s woes? Polarization and all the rest?


“I know you’re going to say they’re not the primary cause, but are you willing to acknowledge that Facebook is a contributor, it’s pouring gasoline on the burning fire in front of us?”

Clegg responded by saying on a massive social platform used by millions, “you see the good, the bad, and the ugly of humanity.”

“Our job is to mitigate the bad, reduce it, and amplify the good,” he continued, arguing that was the aim of the research that was leaked.

Stelter asked directly about Instagram and if the world is better or worse for teen girls because of it.

“The vast majority of teen girls, and indeed boys, who’ve been covered by some of the surveys that you refer to,” Clegg responded, “say that for the overwhelming majority of them, it either makes them feel better or it doesn’t make very much difference one way or the other.”

“If you’re not feeling great about yourself already, then going on to social media can actually make you feel a bit worse.”

Stelter jumped in to say, “You say ‘a bit worse.’ We’ve talking about girls trying to kill themselves because they’re addicted to these platforms and what they’re seeing on the platforms.”


Slides obtained by the Journal show that overall, in the United States, 37 percent of girls say they feel either somewhat better or much better while using Instagram. 43 percent said it had no effect on them, while 21 percent said they felt either somewhat worse or much worse.

For girls in the UK, 30 percent said they feel better using it, 44 percent say no effect, and 25 percent say they feel worse.

And many teens struggling with mental health said that being on Instagram makes it worse, but they are “compelled” to keep using it because of how ubiquitous it is among their peers.

Stelter continued grilling Clegg on Facebook’s internal research and at one point straight-up told him, “Part of me feels like I’m interviewing the head of a tobacco company right now. Part of me feels like I’m interviewing the head of a giant casino that gets rich by tricking its customers and making them addicted.”

He asked specifically about Facebook being compared to Big Tobacco.

Clegg rejected it as a “profoundly false” comparison.

“Social media apps, they’re apps. People download them on their phones. And why do they do that? There has to be a reason why a third of the world population uses these apps,” he continued. “They do it because they like exchanging their views, their feelings.”

Stelter jumped in to say he personally enjoys using Instagram, but added, “I also feel the tug of an addiction. Don’t you feel the addiction?”

“That’s why we need to make sure people are not being drawn toward bad experiences,” Clegg said.

You can watch above, via CNN.

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