Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri is taking heat for for comparing social media to car crashes that kill people — after a report that found his platform is harmful to teen girls.
“We know that more people die than would otherwise because of car accidents, but by and large, cars create way more value in the world than they destroy. And I think social media is similar,” Mosseri said Wednesday on the Recode Media podcast.
Mosseri’s comments came after the podcast’s host, Peter Kafka, asked if he believes social media should be restricted or outright banned in the light of the findings from an internal studies conducted by Facebook — details of which were reported this week by The Wall Street Journal.
The Instagram head later clarified in the interview that he believes “regulation is needed” in social media after Kafka circled back to the comparison, nothing the automobile industry is heavily regulated.
Twitter users were quick to voice their disdain of Mosseri’s comments.
“Transportation is much more important than social media,” one person wrote.
Another user added: “Cars have literally changed the climate of the planet. Probably not the metaphor you want to disprove how social media has changed social fabric.”
Mosseri responded to the feedback with his own Twitter post on Thursday.
“The number of reporters dunking on this, admittedly less than perfect, analogy on Twitter who clearly didn’t listen to the pod, where @pkafka makes sure we cover the obvious next question about regulation, is remarkable,” he said.
The Facebook studies found that the Instagram exacerbates body image issues, anxiety and depression in teen girls.
“Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse,” researchers working on the studies reportedly wrote in a March 2020 internal presentation.
“We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,” another slide from 2019, summarizing research about teen girls who experience the issues read.