tv Fault Lines A Toxic Feed Social Media and Teen Mental Health Al Jazeera May 5, 2022 12:30pm-1:01pm AST
which is just ended on the peninsula comes earlier each year. a visual reminder of the delicate and shifting balance between trees and the environment. rob mcbride, al jazeera, so nasa astronaut are heading home are to their 6th month mission to the international space station. the space ex dragon capsule is exposed to splash down off the coast of florida. the 3 americans under german carried out hundreds of research projects and welcomed the 1st space, taurus to the station. ah, who without his era, these are our top stories. russia says it'll hold fire for the day at a steel plant in southern ukraine, allowing traps civilians to get out there among ukrainian soldiers at the other cell facility and merrier pole. who are making a last stand against russian forces. authorities. nissan, city of grammar tours say 25 people have been wounded in russian shelling overnight
. the city is near the frontline of fighting internet province. charles trafford has the latest from kramer tours where you can see behind me is only one. the strikes like one of a number of sites across the city that were hits. certainly according to people were spoken to here, the military here. this was a russian missile that landed in front of an office office building. there was nobody inside at the time of the strike. we do know is that kraemer toss use of huge significance. strategically to both sides. russians. one, we're, we're, we're in our understanding. the russians are, are keen on hitting it because it is close to slab yonce. it's only about a 1015 minute drive up to the city of celebrants. russian forces of troy to push south and surround both grammar tools and slept dancing. israeli police are fired rubber. bullets at palestinian protests is unoccupied, east, jerusalem. but he said demonstrates as to stones after israel's government allowed
jewish visits to resume at the alex and was compound, the us says it's preparing for a world both with and without and iran nuclear deal. the state department concedes it's not sure if they'll be a mutual return to compliance with the 2015 agreement between iran and wild powers . since the u. s. withdrew in 2018. ron's been ramping up its nuclear program. flooding in afghanistan is killed and injured dozens of people damaged homes and drowned livestock. at least 18 have died off to heavy rain had 11 provinces. another 2 are missing 100 homes and nature has been destroyed. as notorious cocaine cartel boss in columbia has been extradited to the u. s. to face trial or to neil as he is known was arrested in october after 7 years on the rotten. now state. now with all the headlines this hour, one use after fought license. how and why did susan become so obsessed?
with this law? we were giving them a tool to hold corrupt individuals and human rights abusers accountable. very when i rip this deal apart, if they take the white house of 2025, what is the world hearing when we're talking about ply, american today? you'll weakly take on us politics and society. that's the bottom line. i do know that social media affected the way my daughter felt about herself. she was just flipping through pictures of clothes and makeup and all these people on social media that she saw. and that's what she wanted to be in line. she would never admit to feeling bad because of social media. she would always just say mom, it's just pictures. february 2022. the surgeon general of the united
states warned that rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising among american youth. currently there is a grand national experiment that is taking place upon our kids. when it comes to social media, he said that social media platforms, like tick, tock, snapshot, and instagram are swarming vulnerable kids. social media platforms have exacerbated feelings of loneliness, utility and low self esteem. for some you emergency room visits for suicide had increased 51 percent among girls. in just 2 years. the bard meant that messages that tell our kids with greater frequency and volume than ever before that they are not good looking enough, not popular enough, not smart enough. simply not enough in every couple of months. it felt like you were hearing about another kid that committed suicide. i just kept thinking they've got, it's not my child. me. on this episode, a phone lines,
the impact of social media and teen mental health. ah. in recent years, littleton, a quiet suburb outside of denver. colorado has been shaken by a string teen suicides around the country. rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts among high school students have risen steadily in the past decade. students reporting persistent, sadness or hopelessness has increased by 40 percent and youth suicide has risen by 57 percent the lord is close to the broken hearted. he rescues those who spirits are crushed.
hailey's favorite passage from the bible. hayley thorpe died by suicide in september 2020. she was 19. i had her when i was 20. she was my everything. she was just a very highly emotional, highly sensitive child. my name is haley song and i am here to track their fears. so the reason i saw she was 9 years old when vivian was born oh, hanging puffy, relax. we always called her our sassy hailey. going to open the court now and moving back to to so funny and animated oh
yeah. every sport or art or drama class that she wanted to do, i put her in everything. i wanted her to do all the things or i did not get to do. he had so much fun. she was like my best friend. she was definitely my 1st love. and she is my biggest heartbreak. ah. when did you start to notice that a change? the change came right around the time that she was getting into social media goofiness kind of went away. she was more concerned with being cool, becoming popular and pretty. this was her list to becoming popular and pretty.
so this is stuff that she wrote that she needed to do in order to be more popular. yeah, pretty yes. she put twin lacrosse, stop being annoying and get rid of your weird clothes. get more v s. c. secret. get a popular bay, i guess that's their sling word for boyfriend or girlfriend. this is her instagram account in my journey, trying to figure out what happened to my daughter. i started looking into her accounts to see how they might have affected her wellbeing, her mental health. my daughter was funny. i mean, beautiful. did she feel like she was beautiful? no. she thought she was the ugliest girl and it's just mind
boggling to me. that she had written what is wrong with me and my defect? i just figured these were all just a part of being a teenager, you know, on any hormones. but then it was the summer after her 8th grade year. i got a text from her friend telling me that kaylee had started cutting herself. where do you think she got the idea to cut herself? i know she would look those things up on her social media account. i just want to feel like i and hayley, we're both seeing the same stuff on instagram. we'd like grungy photos of like
women cutting, they're really black and white and like it was just kind of all centered around suicide and self harm. your scrolling thrilling, rolling under being fed content you agree with and that you like. and that's interesting and your brain wants more and more and more usually would just be kind of like later at night. and i just kind of end up going down that rabbit hole. the rabbit. behind the scenes of social media computer programs, algorithms work to find the perfect mix of photos and videos to keep the user glue to their screen for as long as possible. you're an expert on algorithms like how does the algorithm that powers said instagram work, any social media algorithm, whether it's just a grammar, facebook, or snap chat, they all work essentially the same. they are optimized to engagement. they're
optimized to keep you on the social media platform. no matter what. instagram and facebook, they do not care if it's quality or if it's harmful or if it's anything else, the things like this keep you there. we're going to show you more of those things. i don't know how you can see young girls all these images knowing what it does to their psyche, young people and especially young women, are socialized to be incredibly self conscious. so of course things about themselves and about their body image will make them focus up. well, make them care and just obsessed over this content. when i thought haley was in bed sleeping, she would be on social media, you know, till 23 in the morning. attention is really what you should be thinking about in terms of like, what is instagram? what it wants attention, what are those algorithms look for? they look for things that will be paid attention to. the company's business model
relies on people clicking on ads and they've noticed very strong relationship between staying on the platform longer and clicking on ads so that the data scientists were told, optimized to people staying on facebook or kissing on instagram or whatever. it says not ok. there wasn't like an evil genius. so we're saying a ha, let's do this. any individual person at a company like this. what is like, i imagine feel a little bit helpless. like there are these robots who lies that by ranking fees in a certain way, they could like addict teenage girls to instagram. my name is francis hogan. i used to work in facebook. october 2021. a whistleblower named francis hogan testified to congress after disclosing thousands of documents from inside facebook. for years. instagram, which is owned by facebook,
new its platform was toxic for vulnerable teens, but kept its findings from the public. facebook's products harm children. the company's leadership knows how to make facebook, and instagram saver won't make the necessary changes because they have put their astronomical prophets for people. the disclosures which were 1st reported by the wall street journal dominated headlights book having its own big tobacco moment. instagram harms, teenage garaged with the company hides what it no, i guess really, really having girls. i facebook researchers found that most teens like these middle school students and bolder can manage the way that instagram affects them kind of depression in my school in that class. but for some vulnerable teens, the researchers found the platform could be damage and really get rid of that. not feeling that something's wrong. and a quarter of teens who told the researchers, they felt, quote, not good enough. traced the feeling to instagram in one of the documents,
the researchers wrote, quote, we make body image issues worse for one in 3 teen girls. even if your coffee and yourself, if you continue seeing these things, it does make you feel like you need to change any need to fall. the standard the keeps telling you in your fix itself, like continue to tell you. oh do this. oh, did us please do this and sometimes it's good, but sometimes it can be really negative. like if you think there's something wrong with you and it keeps telling you, oh yes, that's not okay. and the company is feed off our insecurities. if we are really insecure because our harrison look like everyone else, they keep pushing those things to us. so by things to fix those. oh instagram, the researchers found pushed users down, quote, never ending rabbit holes among who had reported having suicidal thoughts. the researchers found that 13 percent of
british users and 6 percent of american users trace their desire to kill themselves to instagram their business practices that are wreaking havoc on the mental health of young people. eventually those young people, they show up in my clinician, colleagues, office, they're showing up with eating disorders with self harm or depression, anxiety. they're suicidal. this is happening because of the business practices of the social media platforms. i'm pretty good. i don't know if i ever know the whole why was my why awesomeness? right? they're just getting. i don't think it's like anyone committed suicide because of social media. but i think that social media made people struggling with depression just struggle harder and made people think id, have even more anxiety. and if you never really get me,
then i guess you'll never know the train wreck that i am when i think back to being a teenager and i would buy cosmo magazine. and i remember looking at the pictures of the models feeling like i wasn't beautiful, that was in a magazine and you got it once a month and then you got rid of it. now they're looking at the 247 all day every day on social media. we've known for decades that looking at fashion magazine images where the models are unrealistic like been, has a negative effect, a mental health that's very different from how you engage with social media. this problem is so much more insidious because the algorithms are designed to keep adding up the emotional response. the stronger negative feelings that keeps people engaged longer. they end up in a downward spiral of negative social comparison. oh
boy oh you you look at it and you think wow, oh, just a week later did this happen when she was working she was going to school. she had just gotten this new car. she was helping me in my house cleaning business and i was scrubbing the floor of a shower just thinking how happy i was that hailey and i were getting a long we're working together 3 days before i talked to hailey on the phone and just said we loved each other,
to any parent whose asked a child or even had a child hurt themselves. i can't begin to imagine what that would be like to one of my 3 boys. you know, the smoke which changed its name to meta didn't make someone available to speak to us on camera. will you commit? after how guns disclosures is lawmakers grilled adam azeri. the head of instagram on his company's effect on teams out of instagram is my responsibility to do all i can to keep people safe at the hearing. most harry told lawmakers that his platform helps far more teens than it hurts. many teens use instagram to get support and suffer from issues like anxiety and depression. we found more teams who were struggling from that instagram made things better than worse. the one exception was body image for teenage girls, which is why i personally started e social comparison team. that research has inspired ideas like take a break which launched this week and nudges which were currently working on,
which encourages you to switch topics. if you spend too much time in any one topic and leave a parent knows best, which is why we are currently developing parental controls that let parents not only see how much time their chines spend on instagram. but said limits. if we have experts saying we need to limit social media usage, which is what the surgeon general just said yesterday to help address mental health issues. does that go against the business model of instagram that are, on average, we make more money when people spend more time on our platform because we're an advertising business side. so my point is they seem to be in direct contradiction with each other. what the surgeon general is saying, we need to better the health of our young americans and what your basic business model proposition is, they seem to be actually colliding teaching. i looked to rule hailey's, social media account,
seen the things that they're trying to get her to look at, you know, is just really dark and sad. it was the thing is the algorithm doesn't have a soul. so it can, it can't be like, oh wait, that's bad reason to show that it's just what's going to make most money, but i can be a big man from people's mental health. yeah. with a lot. okay. and who knows how, how much worse it's going to get, you know, yeah, that's interesting. like you have a perspective of losing your older child with them having a younger child kind of going through that same realm like you have to be careful. i think seeing struggles with her older sister, maybe she is a little more aware what would make social media platforms safer for teens. i wanted to find out from the inside. so i contacted a software engineer who worked on safety at facebook. he agreed to speak to me in his 1st on camera interview. what drew you to facebook?
it's a giant sociology experiment. there's so many people on the form that you have to make a small change that can make a big difference. do you think there's a way to change the algorithms so that they do less harm? yeah, absolutely. there's so many things you can do, things that go viral, are more likely to be bad. like for whatever your definition of bad is things that are viral or more likely be bad. there is a knob in every social media company that is labeled. how fast can something go viral, like overall, like how fast can anything go viral? you can turn that knob down. what we need to do is make sure that they're, they're incentivized to make changes that having north star that is not only growth and engagement way back. 100 plus years ago. the pharmaceutical industry could give people products that
were dangerous, actually killing people because they were not regulated. well, that changed with a food and drug administration. you can't put a pharmaceutical on the market without revealing what's in that pill. the same is not true with social media platforms. they have basically was equivalent to a pill. it's something that children are consuming and we have no idea what's in it . we have no idea what's written in that algorithm. there is no transparency or no accountability. how does a young woman get caught in a rabbit hole? how long does it take? how does it affect younger girls versus older girls or women? what are the other kinds of risk factors for those girls? baby, their parents just got divorced. maybe it's cove, it, there must be a 1000000 different questions you could ask that you would take a lot of different studies. those studies could happen, though, should, should be happening. they're not happening. why don't they let the researchers because they don't want people to know what's happening on their platform. those
experiments are not being run because the companies just won't let them. busy lawmakers in washington want to pass legislation that would 4 social media companies to disclose data on the impact of their platforms. it's one of several dozen bills that have sought to regulate big tech, but so far meaningful regulation has told and congress, whoa, says me, healy when i found that hailey died, i was baby sitting. i was the morning when my friend from high school texted me and she was like, i'm thinking about you and praying for you. and any time i get a tax like that i in so we know so and i'd cuz sometimes people think, you know already ah, i lost so many close friends out year. so it was just like one after another after
another. and it felt like it was just never and then how many kids do you know that have died by suicide? 10 people that i knew in high school does my suicide. and haley is the, the last person that, you know, as that thankfully, yes, i'm really grateful that no one else has passed away since then. when you feel good, come into a position that you'll natural comfortable that you feel like you can stay in in littleton, mattie and her friends are logging off social media. now just try to focus on your breath. logging off for a month is a big fee, so like yeah,
i'm proud of all you guys were doing it and then something to do it. so i wanna hear like what i was like for you. i didn't really tell my confidence grew a lot because social media is maybe kind of feel like, like i didn't even realize it either. but social media was like bring out a lot of my insecurities. i gained more attention like i am, were present in a lot less, softly anxious. i would say um, but yeah, i just, i feel like i've been able to grow ah, there's real world outcomes happening because of these apps in these platforms and like it's not okay. that needs to stop these companies are not seeing people like me. they're not seen people like hailey, who were impacted by these platforms. cable need to be their priority, non profit making
bellville. yeah, pat. i never ever thought i would survive losing a child. oh, i know because i have vivian but has pushed me to keep going away. yeah. try the other little one right here. again. put your gloves on. no. so your hands on freeze . will you allow your younger daughter to get social media? absolutely not. all right, ready? now think social media is healthy for anyone. i'm not on social media at all. i have to do everything. i can't make sure that the same thing doesn't happen to my daughter vivian. then. mm
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