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Klobuchar Asks Facebook About Claims Instagram Glorifies Eating Disorders
Minnesota Ag Connection - 10/18/2021

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is calling out one of the world's largest social media companies for displaying content that may promote eating disorders among young users, specifically teenagers and girls. In a letter to Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg, Klobuchar, along with Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Shelley Moore Capito from West Virginia, highlighted Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen's recent testimony to the Senate Commerce Committee, noting her belief that the company knows they are leading young users to anorexia content.

The lawmakers say Haugen's complaints to the Securities and Exchange Commission also indicated that Facebook has additional information about its impact on eating disorders that it has not shared with policymakers, parents or the public.

"The stakes here are incredibly high--studies have found that eating disorders have one of the highest mortality rates of any mental illness," the letter said. "We have long fought to ensure Americans can access treatment services for eating disorders, but more must be done to protect our kids from being exposed to content on Facebook and Instagram that glorifies and promotes eating disorders."

The Senators are co-sponsors of the bipartisan Anna Westin Act, which included provisions to increase training and education on eating disorders and ensure parity for insurance coverage of residential treatment of eating disorders.

Facebook has publicly denied Capito's allegations and says his company does not put profits ahead of the wellbeing of its users.

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