According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook’s internal research found that one in every eight of its users reported compulsive social media use that interfered with their sleep, work, and relationships what the social media platform refers to as “problematic use” but is more commonly known as “internet addiction.”
The social media network has a team dedicated to user well-being, which proposed solutions to harmful behavior, some of which were implemented. According to the Wall Street Journal, the business shut down the team in 2019.
In a blog post, Pratiti Raychoudhury, a vice president of research at Meta, Facebook’s new parent company, claims that the WSJ misinterpreted the research (a claim the business has made about other publications based on Facebook’s internal materials).
“Throughout our multiyear endeavor to better understand and empower people who use our services to manage problematic use,” she writes, the corporation “has been involved and helpful.” That is why this job has spanned several years, including the present.” “Problematic use does not equal addiction,” Raychoudhury claims, adding that the business provides “tools to assist consumers control their experiences on our applications and services.”
The piece is the latest in the WSJ’s Facebook Files series, which is based on internal papers released by whistleblower Frances Haugen and suggests Facebook is aware of the issues its platforms can cause. According to one set of reports, Facebook was aware that its Instagram network was hazardous for teenagers. On October 5th, Haugen testified before Congress, claiming that Facebook was “internally dysfunctional” and that it was unlikely to change its ways without intervention from outside regulators.