Instagram rolls out new safety features one day before its CEO testifies before Congress

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Whistleblower Haugen’s revelations about Instagram’s alleged harm to teen girls drew much attention and criticism, but researchers have been uncovering similar findings for years, according to Linda Charmaraman, director of the Youth, Media & Wellbeing Research Lab at the Wellesley Centers for Women. The visual nature of apps such as Instagram creates a focus on physical appearance and a tendency among teens to compare themselves to others, Charmaraman said. Couple that with a business model that depends on getting brands in front of ever-younger customers — and that often relies on “influencer marketers” to do so — and you’ve got a recipe for mental health struggles, experts say.

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