Instagram chief Adam Mosseri will testify before Congress for the first time next month, as first reported by The New York Times Wednesday.
Mosseri’s testimony in December follows months of scrutiny from Senate lawmakers concerned about how Facebook can harm the mental health of young users. Since Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen disclosed internal Facebook reports to the the Wall Street newspaper Earlier this year, senators held a series of hearings on how products like Instagram can encourage self-injurious behaviors in teens, especially young women.
The Senate Commerce Committee’s consumer protection subcommittee held its first hearing in this series in September with Facebook’s global security chief Antigone Davis. In response to the Newspaper at the time, Davis objected to the newspaper reporting that Instagram was harmful. Noting this dispute, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear before the committee to correct any “inaccurate testimony” provided by Davis.
In a subsequent letter, Blumenthal also addressed the invitation to Mosseri. “Parents across America are deeply troubled by the ongoing reports that Facebook knows that Instagram can cause destructive and lasting damage to many teens and children, especially to their mental health and well-being.” , he said in the October letter. “These parents, and the twenty million teens who use your app, have a right to know the truth about Instagram safety.”
Blumenthal is committed to approving new child online safety regulations through legislation in light of these recent reports. The committee has previously introduced bills that would place new limits on the design of platforms and types of content aimed at children under 16. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) also introduced a bill that would allow parents to sue tech companies proven to have caused bodily or mental injury to children.