Is it though? Their entire business model is like alcohol. The higher the alcohol proof the more money they earn. Their algorithms purposefully makes people have wide swings in emotions to drive engagement in order to generate money. Blaming suicidal thoughts on addicts isn't the solution, lowering the alcohol proof is. You can have freedom of speech without the algorithm purposefully pitting one person with another to drive engagement. Exposing alcohol to teens couldn't be a worse idea.
In contrast, Facebook's customers are not the users. Their customers are advertisers and users are simply the product. They maximize their algorithm to satisfy the customers and advertisers are addicted to Facebook because of how much user data they contain which helps them sell better.
Since users aren't the customers, Facebook doesn't care if users experience either positive or negative emotions. In fact, a combination of both has been shown to increase engagement. Facebook set out to optimize this combination with their algorithms.
So if video games did cause people to periodically experience negative emotions such as suicidal thoughts and they are purposefully doing so to maximize profits from their customers, then yes they should be regulated. But that isn't the case with video games.
Hence everything is pretty much built to attract and keep people attracted for the most possible time.
Saying social media is different because of their ad-based sales model is a bit misleading. They're both essentially interested in addicting users to their product, regardless of their behavior afterwards.
What percentage of alcoholics would say alcohol makes them feel better.
This week I'm going to get my shit together, these will be my last cans of RedBull and my last all-nighter.
New bottle... last one too. Fuck it, I really need a good nights rest. Everything will be much better after finally having had a chance to mention this insane workload during tomorrow's perf meeting.
Alright, I've got this. At 35% leverage I'll have it all back in no time.
Just imagine there are people, some of whom are probably reading this too, whose job it is to artificially recreate or induce this dark and destructive part that exists in each and every one of us.
I can imagine that there are people addicted to doing this engineering, maybe believing that with a tweak or two more the negative effects will disappear. I'm reminded of 'Crazy Eddie' from 'The Mote In God's Eye', believing there's a way to engineer our way out of every problem.
> false idea of there being light at the end of the tunnel
Can no longer edit my comment unfortunately.
What percentage of people who drink alcohol are alcoholics?
It's an interesting comparison because the vast majority of people have no trouble moderating their consumption of alcohol and I'd argue that the same goes for social media. Yet we're so focused on the subset of social media users who are addicts that many here are convinced it's not possible to use social media without being an addict. I suspect if similar rhetoric was leveled against alcohol we'd see a strong backlash from people who enjoy alcohol responsibly, or from people who simply prefer freedom to choose their own actions.
In the US about ~7% or 14 million people depending on how you define alcoholism. Globally about 3 million people die every year of consequences related to drinking, or put differently, 5% of global deaths are attributable to alcohol consumption..
That is about as many people as covid seems to have killed last year. You're actually right in drawing a comparison between social media and drinking, but I think you're wrong about thinking that means we should take social media less seriously, rather we should take drinking much more seriously. Certainly very few people would argue we should take a pandemic less seriously that costs hundreds of billions per year and kills millions, and that is what alcoholism does as well.
As a society we are extremely negligent of threats that cause enormous social harm in the aggregate simply because they don't harm everyone they come into contact with.
That's the statistics for Alcohol Use Disorder (or AUD) not alcoholism. AUD is definitely not what people think when they speak of alcoholism. That would be alcohol addiction.
In typical American fashion, AUD has an extremely broad definition. For example if twice during the past year you went out with friends longer than you expected, had more beer than you were planning to, ended hangover the day after and thought "I should really stop drinking" you have mild AUD.
That's true, but what people think of when they think of alcoholism is pretty silly and it's not how any addiction specialists think of addiction today. There's an enormous gulf between what experts think about addiction and what laypeople picture when they think of an "alcoholic."
> For example if twice during the past year you went out with friends longer than you expected, had more beer than you were planning to, ended hangover the day after and thought "I should really stop drinking" you have mild AUD.
And why not? If you took a drug that resulted in adverse consequences and your response to that is that it's no big deal and you'll probably do it again, then that suggests something that's at least mildly problematic.
WastingMyTime89 is likely referring to the DSM-5 definition of AUD here. It is rather broad, though a bit more narrow than they've outlined. Worth a look. I certainly have friends who would qualify.
You can also access the DSM-5 text directly through the Internet Archive, though it is sometimes unavailable depending on usage: https://archive.org/details/diagnosticstatis0005unse/page/49...
As far as I know, self-reporting is considered a poor tool to study addiction anyway because addicts are the least likely to agree to answer questions about their consumption or tend to lie.
Probably. But see also the harm of overly stringent regulation of said threats, with the obvious example being prohibition of alcohol in the US.
So as a society we take reasonable measures to prevent the worst outcomes. In the case of alcohol we have ratcheted up the consequences of drunk driving, limited the drinking age to 21+, etc.
Wheras the specifics of what Facebook chooses to show you is either opaque or incalculable for people who visit their website.
This includes catastrophic mistakes in the algorithm like the massive groups pushing Q anon early in.
When you buy Bud Light, there isn’t some constantly shifting emotionally persuasive unlicensed content available to offer just the right amount of drip to give a site visitor a drip just before their average session length is wrapping.
I personally think alcohol is often destructive like rot and sloppy tool to play with one’s consciousness.
However, it is at lease consistent and well understood. Facebook is neither, and can much more easily be linked with havoc in pursuit of ad spend.
Death in a can.
Drinking two of those bad boys in an hour was like getting into a time machine. You'd wake up in an unfamiliar place with a trail of depravity and destruction in your wake like Hansel and Gretel on a bender.
What are you going to do, tell them they can't show you more content similar to things you or your friends or people with similar interests spend a lot of time on?
> This includes catastrophic mistakes in the algorithm like the massive groups pushing Q anon early in.
Was this really a mistake? Or just something that caused a lot of outrage and discussion and views and clicks so therefore got amplified and spread by design?
Is it “catastrophic mistakes” or is the algorithm working as intended to maximize engagement?
From Facebook’s point of view I’m not sure it’s a mistake - these Q people have “engaged” plenty and the conspiracy is still a wonderful generator of engagement, whether from the Q people’s side pushing endless conspiracies, from people trying to reason with then or from those merely laughing at them.
Edit: I feel the need to clarify that I am also an American and a parent of young kids, and I do not intend to allow them free access to social media anytime soon (oldest is 11).
What percentage of FB/Insta users are truly addicts and harm themselves? Maybe moderately low, who knows. But, how likely is it that their social peacocking impacts others even if they themselves are not being hurt by it? The body image thing for teen girls is happening when other girls post their pictures. That’s what makes this whole thing very difficult to measure.
I know "choice" is a bit of a dirty word when talking about mental illness, we can talk about free will vs predestination ... everyone is just a bunch of atoms bouncing around without "real" free will. But to the extent that people do have anything like a soul or consciousness, a lot of bad choices are still effectively choices, and for a bad choice to be made it needs to have an upside.
You're more sure than most people.
Or study facts; we can monitor sleep vs instagram use, for example. We can figure out who has body image issues and compare that to who uses IG or other social media.
This article reminds me of that. Facebook will never admit their services are harmful, as that would be in direct conflict with their business. And because of that I would treat any claim they make about how good their services are as nothing more than just bullshit.
I mean, just look at how Facebook fought tooth and nail against Apple's anti-tracking changes. Facebook still knows an absolute boatload about you, they can still show you extremely targeted ads on Facebook, but they treated a removal of their ability to track you on pretty much every site or app you visit (and not even a removal - just a question on whether you, the consumer, want this) as the end of the world. Their ads claiming how they were just sticking up for small business owners were nauseating and gross.
Since it's clear Facebook would never release a study, even if true, that said "Gosh, you know, we looked over this unbiased study that says that Instagram is extremely damaging to children and teens, so we're just going to prohibit access to Instagram for those under 18." then any communication Facebook releases on the subject can be summarily ignored.
I didn't remember the super German accent, probably has to with the public image of a scientist looking like Einstein :) (btw the commercial is from 1989 and in 2007 it won best slogan ever with 46% of votes !)
Facebook should also show scientists in company uniforms, with fluffy hair and fake moustaches to announce their research while holding test tubes with smoke swirling out of them. It would give their research the kind of grandeur it deserves: We the scientists from Facebook recommend: Instagram.
This is research 101. Of course kids that "Instagram hears from" are going to have positive reviews of the app. The is convenience sampling from your own users. Additionally, they interviewed kids 13+, do they really have the ability to identify the source of issues they are experiencing?
FTA: “What the data shows: When we take a step back and look at the full data set, about 1% of the entire group of teens who took the survey said they had suicidal thoughts that they felt started on Instagram.² Of course, even one person who feels this started on Instagram is one too many. That is why we have invested so heavily in support, resources and interventions for people using our services. In addition, some of the same research cited by the Journal in the slide above shows that 38% of teenage girls who said they struggled with suicidal thoughts and self harm said Instagram made these issues better for them, and 49% said it has no impact.”
I'm not defending facebook, but even if starting to have suicidal thoughts does cause some suicides (and I'm not suggesting it doesn't), I don't agree it's quite that simple.
Internet browsers are not responsible for suicidal thoughts beginning with internet browsing, nor email clients for thoughts beginning with email. Nor with instant messaging, SMS, or telephone. For example if one of the causes was due to bullying on the platform, it's possible other platforms (or the real world) would have been used for bullying instead.
I wouldn't be surprised if 1% of children said they started having suicidal thoughts as a direct result of school, so you could also say the education system is literally killing thousands of kids a year (not that schools can't be improved in that regard or in instances a school may be culpable due to negligence or incompetence of staff).
It's important to try to really understand and be clear about what the issues are and not be overwhelmed by emotions. If parents get scared by ban it without understanding the issues, their child can become isolated and marginalized, or it can encourage their child to be dishonest with them. It's not necessarily the best approach to take.
Except browsers aren't "curating" content specifically designed to keep you obsessed and checking it constantly, which commonly includes things that will make users feel self-conscious (which teens will OF COURSE be susceptible to).
Making or curating content people like to consume does not necessarily make something responsible for those thoughts. Television stations, Hacker News, video games, magazines, books, movies, whatever.
I'm not saying instagram can't be criticized or improved, I'm saying it's not as simple as just assigning complete blame of all suicides to the place or thing where suicidal thoughts first arose. It's simplistic and I don't see how it is helpful or will lead to actual improvements.
There is too much value in the curation business for an entity like google to ignore.
- Multi-level marketing ponzi schemes
- Far-right extremism
- Islamic extremism
- Totalitarian government political propaganda
- Censorship of anti-totalitarian movements leading to incarceration and torture.
All of these had an exponential growth amplification platform, all of these would have otherwise had an organic growth at best.
Teen suicide is just one negative aspect that happened to be studied in more detail probably due to CYA liability more than anything else.
edit: I'm sorry the tone of that obviously rubbed me the wrong way. Let me try again.
If you have personally been able to fully avoid direct contact all the suggested problems listed that actually doesn't make those problems cease to exist for others. Such problems also may affect you quite profoundly in an indirect fashion via people you love or society at large or a number of other vectors.
I'd suggest that these problems are extremely likely to exist and more research needed on their full effect and indeed the trade offs involved in any suggested solutions to it. Your proffered solution of "don't follow idiots" probably isn't particularly useful to anyone. The majority of people would believe, just like you do, that they don't follow idiots.
Point is it's not the social media company's decisions that cause the problem, humans cause the problem.
So in the end it's an absence of government overseeing the health of its people, because it decided to be involved in as little a way as possible.
The internet does the same thing as any previous media, just better, faster, and governments aren't keeping pace, or being global.
Facebook isn't broken, government is.
If you want Facebook to be the new government, that's an interesting question.
They make instagram, they know instagram can cause suicidal thoughts in teens, the government hasn't regulated it yet, so facebook is in the clear?
That sounds like a zuckerberg-y level denial and blame shifting. I don't think they should operate like philip morris, and I'd guess that some of their employees would agree or we wouldn't have even heard about this information.
If there's evidence someone found out that doing X would cause more suicides, and they did it anyway, that's bad.
It's not that governments have to regulate Facebook specifically, it's they have to act more rapidly, and globally, and that's two things they're terrible at.
Facebook isn't the problem, it's the symptom of a rapid massively interconnected world that hasn't existed before
Society is promoting being attractive/thin/wealthy/always happy/being envious
You are right in that the app isn't making it, but it is promoting it with their algorithm to maximize engagement.
Every supermarket magazine is doing the same thing, just they're not as good at it.
No, their algorithm is maximizing conflict. There's no algorithm needed for what's popular. A 5 year old can write that algorithm. Go read up on research on what drives engagement on social media. Popular != maximum engagement.
That's why the rest of the Facebook posts you see are "what was your favourite meal as a child?" etc with thousands of comments. The ones people think are phishing scams.
> the pandemic
You might be the first person on the planet who's found the pandemic to be entertaining (or a product...)
A similar example is when newspapers report on a high-profile suicide, and you have multiple copycat suicides occur afterwards. You wanna ban news reporting too?
Now I agree with your conclusion that "it is quite obvious that something needs to change" with our graduate education system.
And if you were to drop everyone out of college today, how would the suicide rate evolve over the long term? I'm pretty sure it would be worse.
You should finish your analogy and tell us, what exactly, is the long term benefit of instagram/FB that makes up for it's short term negative effect?
College has a societal value, Instagram doesn't.
If we only accept risk-free things into the world, and claim that everything made is fully responsible for all that it begets, we are going to have to shut down, remove, bury a huge amount of the world.
Risk is a part of nature, and one of the best parts of being human. Good things have their shadows. We all become entailed into the world, into the things we care about, and our hopes for these things rarely fully materializes as we'd hoped. That is distressing, but it's a part of maturing, growing, aging, and learning to cope, being able to cope, with the vast great reality out there: that's life, that's living.
Social media is interesting, in that it exposes us to each other in a much more raw, lower-context form. We don't have socialization cues, we don't really witness the repercussions on other people of the actions we take. This is a very wild, very difficult field to navigate.
Even though social media is, I agree, dangerous, I reject the core premise. One person is not too many. That is absolutism. It doesn't try to see or understand, it doesn't accept the reality of the situation, doesn't consider potential: it simply dictates terms of discussion to the world, based off a maxim you personally hold. I cannot accept your starting position.
Really? Almost all?
It being “disgusting” may well be true, but doesn’t follow logically, and therefore needs more argumentation than what you’ve given here. It’s entirely possible for something that causes deaths to be worth it from a utilitarian perspective. Cars (and industrial development in general) are the cliché examples.
Disclaimer: I worked for Facebook in the past, but my opinions are my own and haven’t changed much since before I worked there.
Why doesn't it follow logically? Some teens are depressed, Instagram makes them even more depressed, they kill themselves, and it's disgusting that Facebook knew about it and hid it. Seems pretty logical to me.
First of all, it's not clear that this is the case -- that Instagram makes some teenagers so much happier that it outweighs the downside.
Second, any product with the capacity to make some population of their users die or harm themselves (1% suicidal maybe leads to 0.01% of people actually attempt suicide; not counting other detrimental effects like eating disorders or depression) should be regulated for safety. C.f. cars, guns, tobacco, alcohol, food, medicine, etc. Such a product should not be under the control of one private company.
I.e. it should not be Facebook's choice to create winners and losers for those who use Instagram. We need regulation from some independent entity that is not motivated (or as motivated) by Facebook's profit. The best candidate would probably be some independent government agency.
Indeed it’s not at all clear without further study whether Instagram increases people’s happiness enough to be worth the downsides.
It is my value judgment that Facebook is disgusting, and my arbitrary desideratum for this judgment is that Facebook (allegedly) spun a narrative to cover their suicide machine.
You'd be right in saying that this line of thought is decidedly not sound; nor could it ever have been sound in the first place, because it's irrational and arbitrary. Does its irrationality and arbitrariness make it less valuable than logically sound arguments? If so, why?
1% may not be a bad estimate. This article  suggests that 1/31 individuals with suicidal ideation will attempt suicide.
If your product causes 1% of people to have suicidal thoughts, and causes 2% or people not to have suicidal thoughts who otherwise would have, your product has prevented suicides overall.
In this case, the data is closer to the latter case. Given the sample size of the survey and background prevalence of suicide, the result should not be considered significant either way.
“ ² According to the raw unweighted data, we surveyed 1,296 teens in the US and 1,309 teens in the UK and asked them if they experienced a range of feelings or experiences in the past month. Of those teens that self-reported struggling with suicidal thoughts, the survey then asked if the feeling started on Instagram. A very small percentage of the total number of teens surveyed (~1%) said they had these feelings and felt they started on Instagram.”
Second the CDC directly refutes you on the teenage suicide rate: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr69/NVSR-69-11-508.pdf
Suicides amongst adolescents have increased over 50% since 2005, which coincides perfectly with the rise of social media.
Even if I accepted your premise (which I don't). I don't think those words mean what you think they mean.
About said court decisions, without knowing what court cases you mean specifically I'm left assuming that they were able to prove malicious intent where as I don't think you get that from software. Can you?
Anyway, if you could spare me a moment of charity and suppose that Instagram _is_ directly responsible for teen suicides, why shouldn't we consider that equivalent to "literally killing"? I'm unsure if there's real value to be preserved in splitting these hairs.
If I'm "directly responsible" for fatally hitting someone with a car, then I've "literally killed" that person.
What about planters nuts? Is it reasonable say they are "literally killing" children/teens/people as well?
Yes, what if what if what if, a hundred times over. Imagine whatever mitigations you deem appropriate to obviate this corporation. We obviously disagree. I'm not trying to argue you into my position, but can you understand where my ire comes from?
It's not that I've done the cost-benefit analyses and rationally found Facebook deficient. I'm saying that in this specific circumstance, with these specific actors, I find Facebook directly responsible for every suicide that any teenager wishes to blame on Instagram.
I value Instagram and their sniveling PR bureaucrats far less than I value the absence of any harm they've wrought from their profit motive.
I'm not stating that you hold the contrary opinion; I believe that there is a set of morals you can hold that allows you to not blame Facebook, while not precluding the goodness of your character. In fact, I'm willing to give you the charity of assuming that you hold some such set of morals; if I didn't think you were engaging in good faith, I wouldn't engage you at all.
I believe I understand what you're saying. I don't agree with your values, such as I understand them. So I'll ask again: will you grant me the charity of assuming, just this once and solely for the purpose of my argument, that Facebook is directly responsible, without mitigation? And, under this assumption, can you relate to me what value you find in delineating between "directly responsible" and "literally killing"?
If you can't grant me this charity, then that's entirely fine. I'll still believe we're engaging in good faith, with good humor; and, in fact, I'll enjoy our engagement all the same. But if you can't grant me this charity, may I ask: why?
Reusing my planters nuts example. If planters nuts is "literally killing" people with their peanuts; the solutions will fit around that premise. How do we stop plantars from killing people. Contrast peanuts are responsible for the death of people. How can we stop people from dying to peanuts?
If you still reject that argument because I'm not conceding the assumption of responsibility enough. Then I apologize for misunderstanding your argument/question. And I can answer why I can't grant the charity. it's because it is so divorced from reality that I lack the context to speak intelligently. The amount of things that I understand about reality would have to change so drastically in order for a software application to literally kill somebody leaves me without the ability to reason about it logically.
Just to be clear, I'm not saying Instagram the app is directly responsible. I'm saying Instagram the organization is directly responsible for killing people, by leveraging their app into a toxic cesspool so as to realize the most gains from it. From my perspective, Facebook chose to ratchet the dial on Instagram's (the app) addictive and harmful powers to a full 11. Teenagers seem to be paying the price. This, to me, is unacceptable. I'm not blaming the app for doing what it does, I'm blaming the people that make and deploy it.
Going to your planter's nuts example: if their salty nuts presented a significant health risk, on the merit of what it is, and Planters' reasonably discloses that to the customers, then I'm fine with it.
If Planter's intentionally makes their product more harmful to get greater profits, but still reasonably discloses the risk of their product, then I'm angry but I understand.
If Planter's chooses to create an extremely addictive product, hides their research which acknowledges fatal risk, deceives Congress by way of technical half truths, dedicates their platform to spreading propaganda about how good they are, and puts out PR spin to placate the seething masses... then all I can say is that they deserve Kaczynski.
"Why would anyone do drugs when they can just mow a lawn"
That's my mother's generation. People my age are having grandchildren - I'm in my mid 40's. We dressed up as hippies from time to time, though. A lot of today's parents were born in the mid 80's to 2000, approximately (a few stragglers on either side). I really don't think this is the hippie generation.
I'll add that smoking pot is much, much more widespread than anything "hippie", even if someone takes on part of hippiedom as their personality. In fact, a lot of folks look to older hippies and laugh because they were wrong about it never being legal again.
Generations are a horrible measure of time, to an extent, but they do bind people together with events and movements at times and I'm pretty sure this is one of those. Plus, I'm not sure what would take their place that is actually better.
2. Facebook themselves are cherry picking:
> WSJ said: “Among teens who reported suicidal thoughts, 13% of British users and 6% of American users traced the desire to kill themselves to Instagram"
> What the data shows: When we take a step back and look at the full data set, about 1% of the entire group of teens who took the survey said they had suicidal thoughts that they felt started on Instagram.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death from 13-19. 6-13% of teens saying instagram made them suicidal is a huge deal. Trying to detract from that delta by showcasing that not that 99% of teens don't want to kill themselves is repulsive and dishonest.
Any large scale phenomenon like Instagram or Reddit or pizza or video games has both upsides and downsides. So I don't think it's fair that just because we've uncovered links to heart disease for pizza or depression/anxiety/social withdrawal/suicide to excessive video gaming or suicide to Instagram, that we should ban any of these things. They all have extremely positive effects as well. I love pizza. If we only harp on negative aspects of every large scale phenomenon we're going to think everything is terrible, ban everything, then live in a box.
That is the sensationalist vibe which WSJ intentionally curated for their article by intentionally hiding any positive information found in Facebook's memos and selectively exposing only the bits which make people go "WOW NO" and make for nice clickbait. If they had included both positive and negative results contained in Facebook's slides, then I don't believe there would be a problem. I personally did not expect this kind of spin from WSJ and am disappointed.
Even if we take fb word for it that the WSJ's interpretation of data from fbs study was not generous, I would like them to respond to the critical external research too. Fbs study has 40 participants who were directly asked their opinion about the causality of using Instagram and their well-being (no chance that a harmful addiction would be coloring their perception on that!). So, let's look at the longitudinal data also, fb.
At least the actual scientists in this field acknowledge social media's positive impact on teenagers while still talking about the problems. Here, it's all binary. Big Tech bad and evil. Period.
Numerous studies show a lot of girls have body image issues. Further, in this post they don’t even indicate what the “correct” percentage might be.
I don’t really get their point. What am I missing?
Neither the survey nor the slides suggested that Instagram was the root cause of the issues, but it does appear to be one of the triggers for people with these issues. Obviously, Instagram isn't the only media that aggravates those issues, as print media, television, movies, reality television, and any other source of imagery would be expected to induce similar problems in those who are susceptible. This problem existed in vulnerable populations long before social media was a thing.
Normally HN is very quick to point out when sources are conflating correlation and causation, but these slides were immediately assumed to indicate causality when in reality they only showed correlation.
For our teen, it was Tumblr that was the first and the worst -- content and conversations on there went dark really quickly, and without our knowledge. Instagram is actually where things were redirected after it became clear a blanket social media ban wasn't going to work. At least on there the focus has (for her) so far mostly been on visual art and self-expression and fandoms and it's a slightly more moderated platform.
I grew up with BBSs, MUDs, MOOs, IRC, etc. and figured I'd be set as a parent for moderating use of this stuff. But nope, it's been probably the worst struggle for us in parenting so far.
The weird thing I've noticed since growing up with the internet is that the internet used to be a destination (and still is), but it has transformed into a a place where you presently interact instead with livestreaming, discord, and whatever else along those lines. It's causing people to believe these forms of interactions can legitimately replace physical ones when that is not the case at all.
If 99% of teens self reported that IG helped them cope with body image issues, would you still dismiss them as not knowing what's best for themselves? Why is 60-70% so different?
Responding to the allegations is almost worse than remaining silent. It shows they are aware it's a problem and the government stepping in is the only way it'll stop.
I'm wildly against Kafka traps like this. However, after reading the rest of your comment, I fully agree with the spirit of your post. I feel that this rhetorical question is superfluous and weakens the strength of your following rhetoric.
I _only_ mention this _because_ I like your rhetoric (in fact, I plan to steal much of it); my apologies if it seems as tone policing, which is the opposite of my intention.
If they don't, that spokesperson is fired and replaced by someone who will say the thing correctly, after redacting the earlier statement.
It's not good enough for more than 50% to feel better than worse. There are hundreds of millions of teenage girls on Instagram, even if Instagram made a tiny minority worse in difficult times than better that's an awful lot.
Your end point may or may not be right, but the logic here pretty clearly doesn't hold
It's very hard to claim that Instagram has anything close to same number of advantage as motoring
And, then to say almost gleefully, we are releasing the "full slide" to tell the "full story" which WSJ didn't do. How about releasing the full slide deck? Did I miss that?
Honestly, it feels a lot like propaganda to me and that I'm only getting the part of the story that Facebook wants me to see. I know WSJ did that too, but let's at least be honest that both sides are selling something. And, I'm not worried about my two daughters reading the WSJ.
Edit: read it again, don't see a link to the full deck that contains the one slide in question. Why not release it in full?
I think we’re still at the tip of the iceberg. With over a billion people, there’s nothing stopping FB from using machine learning and identifying people that literally look like you - ‘here’s a prettier version of you’. Then we’re in real black mirror territory. Perhaps they would even look for slight variations if it triggers too much of an uncanny valley effect.
What we want to know as a society is what is the treatment effect for IG or FB usage. This doesn't really tell us much, self report of impression is important to FB because it's how their users see them, but outside of that it's pretty meh
Facebook/IG make some people feel bad, because they open the website and see people having fun, people out partying, people looking more attractive, and they feel "worse". You can't blame Facebook for that! Those people will exist regardless, and the "social competition" will happen regardless, simply through other formats. And by blaming Facebook, you're really blaming these "happy" people for making [you/others] feel worse by comparison. You will never be better than everyone alive at everything, and comparing yourself to others will always be pathological, leading to either a superiority or inferiority complex.
The point people miss: it is simply impossible to have a website where a billion people post pictures of themselves, that doesn't "make people feel bad". You can argue the human brain isn't meant for that, but it's clearly non-pathological for the otherwhelming majority of people, except those with preexisting low self-esteem and anxieties. People with inferiority complexes "externalise" their feelings onto Instagram when the core problem is their inability to deal with the awareness of other people's lives. Seeing a YouTube video of someone backstage at a fancy private concert would have the exact same impact.
Look at any social media websites without these "evil" algorithms: Mastodon, Gab, Parler. All equally toxic, though for very different reasons. First, you can't moderate at 1-billion-users-scale without moderation algorithms. Second, specifically, "discovery/recommendation algorithms" don't create toxicity; the toxicity is caused by flawed, sometimes-pathological humans, and amplified not by algorithms, but by the social dynamics among these flawed humans. Fixing that requires more "manipulative algorithms", not less!
The Facebook problem is clearly not, as millions believe, that Facebook creates toxicity from the top-down, and makes people feel bad. The core (and only) problem is other people. i.e.: their moderation needs to improve. Algorithms will inevitably recommend eating-disorder content based on common interests, the solution is to ban such content. Simple.
Same with the heavily edited IG modelling photos. Some people like that look, some people hate it. They should require disclosure when a photo is heavily edited, but the overwhelming majority of people will never feel insecure from that, maybe pity at most. Your own psychological makeup determines how you react, not any Facebook policy, and any such policy categorically cannot solve the core problem, which (I say this with respect and sympathy) is that a large amount of people have emotional wounds and need help.
People are throwing the baby with the bathwater, believing that mass-scale social media is fundamentally nefarious. It only is, for the same reason that large corporations become less innovative, or that any large social group becomes less cohesive: people's emotional problems get amplified the more complex a social group/organization is. Entropy sets in, and the social dynamics become too complex; conflict increases. The core problem, that everyone misses, is that this cannot be addressed by the organization, at best mitigated. The root cause is in individuals. Society is blaming Facebook for its own defects, at great cost to its worst-off members.
>Facebook/IG make some people feel bad, because they open the website and see people having fun, people out partying, people looking more attractive, and they feel "worse".
Indeed, Internet's standards are higher when it comes to anything basically, not only look, but even things like programming and stuff
That's not to defend FB/IG or to say that this study does not have glaring conflicts (in fact, it's shocking how bad it is despite the polish it surely got), but squashing IG might not make all of that go away.
Corporate world and media freak out when hearing even a hint that men can have their problems too.
edit: ah I might be misreading this; apparently it's a measure of e.g. of the people who felt sadness to begin with, IG made it more/less/no different.
from your friends at Bally.
This ... is ... evil. Doubly so when children are involved.
This is the core problem with the social networks that promote "engagement". They are carrying out psychological research with no oversight whatsoever.
See: Stanford Prison Experiment for the kind of problems this creates.
The captions, the poses. Just doesn't seem normal.
One day we will look down on all the programmers who built these applications.
"To Serve Man"
Spoiler alert -- it's a cookbook.
Giving yourself the prompt "What the data shows" and then, instead of discussing whether or not it shows the thing, discussing the fact that it also shows another thing, is a classic tactic of two categories of people: obfuscators, and those who can't converse logically.
This is a proper domain for governmental regulation.
There's a reason why advertising is the same whether it'd be for Coca-Cola, Cigarettes or Social media.
They don't know any better.
I'm not a statistician but isn't 1,296 (US teens) + 1,309 (UK teens) such a small sample size to make these conclusions with?
A quick Google shows:
> In 2019, approximately 21.05 million young people between the ages from 15 to 19 lived in the United States.
EDIT: Added link to US teen numbers.
EDIT 2: Thanks for the replies and further reading it's more about confidence and margin of error.
A bigger concern would be that the results don't generalize outside the US and UK, and my guess is that they probably don't.
Maybe it's because I didn't say this originally. The sample size agrees with my intuition about how large a study should be for the sorts of questions it wants to answer. If the proportion of people giving an important answer were very small, say 0.01%, then the sample size would need to be much larger.
From the fact that even that neutral curiosity was downvoted, I'm inclined to believe that there is no such substantive criticism beyond "Facebook bad, me angry". Sometimes I forget how poor the quality of the average HNer has gotten.