‘Meta must do better’ Global experts call for Zuckerberg to act on adolescent wellbeing 

A group of academics from universities across the world  and a number of influential signatories have joined forces to send an open letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The letter urges Zuckerberg to act now and establish new research practices to better investigate whether using Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram has any effect on the mental health of children and adolescents.

The global coalition, facilitated by Professor Andrew Przybylski, Director of Research, Oxford Internet Institute, believes that the way Meta is studying the mental health of youth falls short of basic standards in mental health science. The coalition believes that Meta’s approach needs to change.  Their call for better research follows recent leaks showing the company had undertaken research into how Instagram was affecting teenagers but had not published the work.

Read the full story on oii.ox.ac.uk

Portrait of Andy Przybylski

'This is no small issue,' says Professor Przybylski in an expert opinion piece for the University of Oxford. 'The stakes are really high. A lot is being said about a crisis in teenage mental health – with blame being placed squarely on social media companies. In a polarised world this is an easy, yet irresponsible, claim to level without data. Understandably, perhaps, these companies are very defensive and, in response to the criticism, they have said they will carry out their own research.

But they must realise that, without sharing the information and data with the world of science and research, the criticism is not going to go away. Transparency is the cornerstone of credible science. And it is essential to the quality of research needed to deal with a problem as significant as young people’s mental health. Our group have written this letter, because it cannot be left to chance or ‘toy telescopes’.'

Read Professor Andrew Przybylski's expert opinion on ox.ac.uk