tv Fault Lines A Toxic Feed Social Media and Teen Mental Health Al Jazeera May 8, 2022 8:30am-9:01am AST
it's performing in the greek capital as part of a 2 day tour that almost didn't happened. 3 male members of the job of gone back to fight for ukraine against russia. their walls had been taken up by artists from russia, valdero's, and poland. yet almost as not known, everybody turned out to be shocked by the situation the axes t. and if we have a choice to stop and face an uncertain future or go on, the performance is support the actors a lot better physically as well as being a diversion for them. we derive a loss of joy from the chaise. it's the front line now, it's the most important thing at the man. oh, this is al jazeera, these are the top stories. john lee has been confirmed as hong kong new leader. it was the only candidate in the race to succeed carry. lamb lee was the head of security during the 2019 pro democracy protests. he was chosen by an election committee of 1500 people,
vetted by beijing. adrian brown has more from hong kong. this result was never in doubt. john lee was a sole candidate in this election. he secured $1416.00 votes, 98 percent, turn out as he says, this is a joyful ho a day for hong kong. he says it is the red cross international smile day, which was another reason to be happy as to what sort of chief executive he'll make . well, the coming weeks and months will tell, but john lee is certainly a man who has the backing the support of beijing. otherwise, he wouldn't be in that position. now. ukraine's accused rush hour of bombing, a school in the eastern region of law hands had happened in the village of belgrade called of the governor of law. handsome says about 90 people had been hiding in the building. ukraine's government says all civilians have been evacuated from the steel plant and the southern city of mario, paul. hundreds of women, children, and elderly people have been chopped inside for months. as russia intensified its
attacks. the director of the u. s. intelligence agency, the c i. e says he's convinced vladimir putin is doubling down on the war in ukraine. william burns says despite resistance from ukrainian forces, the russian president is not willing to lose taliban leaders in afghanistan have ordered women to cover their entire body while in public. the new rules will result in punishment for those who refused to comply. rescuers in cuba continued to search a luxury hotel for bodies after an explosion in the capital, havana on friday, and he's $26.00 people, including a child were killed. sion fane has become the largest political party in northern ireland for the 1st time. shim fame was once the political army arm of the irish republican army, which spent 2 decades fighting against british rule. those are the headlines. the news continues. he had an alta 0 after false, lance could by actual capital capital, which nature created. oh, when nature is transformed into
a commodity big business takes a new interest by landscape protecting landscapes. it's a phenomenal opportunity to be able to use a business model to achieve sustainability of nature. but at what risks, banks, of course don't do that because they have at the height protection of nature. they do that because to see a busy pricing the planets anal jazeera i do know that social media affected the way my daughter felt of herself. she would spend hours 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 like. 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. with the window comes to social media. he said that social media platforms, like tick, tock, snapshot, and instagram are harming 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. but bombardment of 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. every couple months,
it felt like you were hearing about another kid that committed suicide. i just kept thinking. thank god, it's not my child. on this episode, a fault lines, the impact of social media on 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 whose 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 the fearsome lien. 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 that we
took so funny and animated 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 that 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 sad change? the change came arrayed around the time that she was getting into social media. the goofiness kind of went away, she was more concerned with being cool,
becoming popular and pretty. and 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. yes, pretty yes. she put twin lacrosse, stop being annoying, 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, accounting 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 was mind boggling to me that she had written what is wrong with me and my feedback. i just figured these were all just a part of being a teenager. you know, on an 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 belong. and haley, we're both seeing the same stuff on instagram. we'd like grungy photos of like women cutting their really black and white and like it was just kind of all centered around suicide and self harm. your scrolling thrilling, rolling, and they're being fed content you agree with and that you like. and that's interesting. and your brain wants more and more and more usually will just be kind of like later at night. and i just kind of end up going down that rabbit hole. the rabbit home behind the scenes of social media, computer programs, algorithms work to find the perfect mix of photos and videos to keep the user glued 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 instagram, facebook, or snap chat, they all work essentially the same. they are optimized to engagement. they are optimized to keep you on the social media platform. no matter what instagram and facebook, they do not care if its 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. we'll 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 the 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 through a 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. an individual person at a company like this. what is like, i imagine feel a little bit helpless. like there are these robots realized 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. i think a whistleblower named francis halligan 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 a won't make the necessary changes because they have put their astronomical prophets of 4 people. the disclosures which were 1st reported by the wall street journal dominated headlines book having its own big tobacco moment instagram, harm's teenage girls 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 in boulder can manage the way that instagram affects them kind of depression in my school, my class, but for some vulnerable teens, the researchers found the platform could be damaging, really getting rid of that nodded feeling that something's wrong,
a quarter of teens who told the researchers, they felt, quote, not good enough. trace the feeling to instagram in one of the documents, the researchers wrote, quote, we made 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 needs of all the standards that keeps telling you in your fix itself. like continue to tell you. oh do this. oh, do that, 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 ok. the company is the feed all our insecurities. if we are really insecure because our harrison look like everyone else, they keep pushing those things to us. so buy things to fix those. oh instagram. the researchers found pushed users down, quote, never ending rabbit holes. among
teens 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, to 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, depression, anxiety, their suicidal. this is happening because of the business practices of these social media platforms. so you know, film green. i don't know if i'll ever know the whole why i was really 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
to struggle, harder, and made people things. i have even more anxiety. and if you never really get me then i guess you'll never knows a train wreck that i am when i think back to being a teenager and i would buy cosmo magazine and i remembers 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 this 247 all day every day on social media with known for decades that looking at fashion magazine images, where the models are unrealistic and 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. i know i fully go you you look at it and you think oh, just a week later this happened. shoes were again, she was going to school. she had just gotten this new car. she was helping me in my house clean business. and with scrubbing the floor of a shower just thinking how happy i was that hailey and i for isn't long we're working together 3 days for
i would hope they would want to factor to any parent who's 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, he spoke with change that same to meta didn't make someone available to speak to us on camera. will you commit? after how guns disclosures he's lawmakers grilled adam, missouri, the head of instagram on his company's effect on teams had instagram is my responsibility to do all i can to keep people safe. at the hearing, mo, siri told lawmakers that his platform helps far more teams than it hurts. many teens used instagram to get support and suffering from issues like anxiety and depression. we found more teens 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 the social comparison team. that research has
inspired ideas like take a break which launched this week and nudges, which we're 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, right? 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, seeing 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. we shouldn't 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 lead 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 force 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 stalled in congress whoa. sunni healey. 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 he knows all and i'd cuz sometimes people think, you know already ah, it's 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 that way suicide. and hailey is the, the last person that you know is 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. it's 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 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 or not seen people like hailey, who, who are impacted by these platforms. people need to be their priority nonprofit
i can tell them yeah, pack with i never ever thought i would survive losing a child. i know because i have vivian but has pushed me to keep going away. yeah. try the other little i'm right here again. but your gloves on those are 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
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the freedom, the spirit of the young person. studio b unscripted on out his era. we understand the differences and similarities of cultures across the world. so no matter how you take it will bring you the news and current affairs that matter to you or not, madison and doha. the top stories on al jazeera hong kong is confirmed, its new leader after nearly 1500 members of the election committee, all vetted by beijing cast. their votes on sunday, john lee was the only candidate in the race to succeed. carrie lamb is alive, pictures from hong kong, where john me is speaking. he was the head of security during the 2019 pro democracy protests. adrian brown has more from hong kong. absolutely, at this result was never in doubt. john lee was a sole candidate in this election. he secured 1416 votes. 98 percent,