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Design It For Us Statement on New Meta Whistleblower Report

New report found that 1 in 4 young users on Meta’s platforms experienced hostility and harm, and 1 in 8 received unwanted sexual advancements in a single week

Design It For Us youth leaders issued the following statement in response to the Wall Street Journal’s latest report that found Meta’s top executives willfully ignored repeated internal evidence that Instagram is causing unmitigated harm to young users and that rather than take action, Meta made it harder to report abuse and laid off its research team: 

“We are once again deeply disturbed by Meta’s blatant disregard for the safety and well-being of the millions of young people across the globe who use their platform,” said Emma Lembke, Design It For Us co-chair. “While Meta has consistently touted their commitment to creating a safe online environment, their actions tell another story entirely. The unfortunate truth is that as long as Meta continues to duck responsibility and undermine public safety efforts, these harms will only continue to escalate.” 

“How many times does this need to happen for Meta to recognize there is a problem that they have created and have a moral obligation to fix? It’s clear the company is not going to change course on its own and cannot be trusted to — they’ve accepted that harming the mental health of American youth is simply the cost of doing business,” said Zamaan Qureshi, Design It For Us co-chair. “Meta has done irreparable harm to my generation. As such, we once again call on our legislators and policy-makers to put the safety and lives of our youngest generations ahead of company profits.”

“It should come as no surprise that Meta continues to deceive the public and knowingly puts profits over the wellbeing of young people,” said Thanasi Dilos, Design It For Us core team member. “History will show that we were well aware of the damage these platforms inflict. But I hope to live in a world where history also shows that Congress acted swiftly to protect youth for generations to come.” 

“Meta has shown once again that they can’t be trusted to self-regulate or do anything to protect the young people on their platform, ” said Sam Hiner, Design It For Us core team member. “Congress has no excuse not to step in and fight the massive damage that Meta has done to my generation’s mental health.” 

“It comes as no surprise that big tech has utterly failed to self-regulate,” said Arielle Geismar, Design It For Us core team member. “It’s our responsibility as digital citizens to hold these platforms accountable: inaction is no longer a luxury Congress can afford.”

“For far too long, harmful content — ranging from misinformation to hate speech to posts nudging users towards eating disorders — have festered on online platforms like Meta, enabled by algorithmic amplification. Time and time again, Meta has demonstrated that it puts profits above the safety and well-being of young people,” said Sneha Revanur, Design It For Us core team member. “The time to act is now: we must pursue concrete accountability measures to help us reimagine social media as a space for my generation to flourish.” 


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