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Facebook Stock Dips After Report Says Instagram Harms Young Girls

The social media company's shares fall a day after internal Instagram research about its negative effects is released.

Shares of Facebook  (FB) - Get Facebook, Inc. Class A Report traded lower a day after internal documents revealed the social media company knew about negative effects of its photo-and-video-sharing app Instagram.

An investigation first reported by The Wall Street Journal has also prompted lawmakers to launch a formal probe into this matter.

Shares of Facebook Wednesday slipped 2.1% to $368.57 at last check. Shares of Facebook dropped to a Wall Street low of $364.38 on Aug. 26.

“Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse,” the researchers at Facebook reportedly wrote.

The Journal cited internal Facebook studies over the past three years that examined how Instagram affects its young user base, with teenage girls being most notably harmed.

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The tech giant identified Instagram's Explore page as a place that can push users into content that can be harmful.

According to one slide from 2019, reportedly seen by the Journal, researchers concluded, “we make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls.” 

Teens surveyed by the company also blamed Instagram for increases in anxiety and depression, according to the research.

Findings of this research were reportedly cited in a presentation given last year to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. 

Senators Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn said Tuesday they will use every resource at their disposal to investigate what Facebook knew and when they knew it — including seeking further documents and pursuing witness testimony.

They described The Journal's reporting as "a tip of the iceberg."