Internal Facebook Documents Show Celebrity Instagram Posts Are Linked to Negative Feelings for Users

FILE - In this June 24, 2015 file photo, American TV personality Kim Kardashian attends the Cannes Lions 2015, International Advertising Festival in Cannes, southern France. Armed robbers forced their way into a private Paris residence where Kardashian West was staying, and stole more than $10 million worth of jewelry, …
AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File

Internal Facebook documents published by the Wall Street Journal show that researchers studying Instagram claim that followers of certain celebrities experience more negative feelings on the platform than followers of other celebrities.

Recent internal Facebook documents published by the Wall Street Journal show that Facebook appears to be aware that the followers of certain social media celebrities experience more negative feelings about their self-image than other users. The Wall Street Journal has published a number of reports in recent weeks giving further insight into the internal workings of Facebook.

According to a Facebook research document titled “Social comparison on Instagram,” which surveyed 100,000 people in March and April 2020 in nine countries including the United States, Australia, and Brazil, followers of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Ariana Grande, Kendall Jenner, Justin Bieber and Charli D’Amelio experience more negative feelings about their self-image than other users.

INGLEWOOD, CA – OCTOBER 30: Singer Ariana Grande performs during IHeartMedia presents Ariana Grande World Premiere Event on the Honda Stage at iHeartRadio Theater on October 30, 2015 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Chris Polk/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Kendall Jenner attends the screening of ‘Girls Of The Sun (Les Filles Du Soleil)’ during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 12, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Mark Zuckerberg Facebook creepy smile

Mark Zuckerberg Facebook creepy smile ( KENZO TRIBOUILLARD /Getty)

Facebook spokesperson Kevin McAlister stated that those that took part in the survey were not asked to name specific celebrity accounts that they follow but researchers did find that celebrity accounts were “some of the most frequently seen accounts for people who told us they experienced either higher or lower levels of negative social comparison on Instagram.”

Facebook researchers did not further investigate whether users’ exposure to the content posted by these celebrities resulted in them developing negative feelings about themselves. In the research documents, Facebook researchers noted that the company could attempt to partner with celebrities to develop campaigns aimed at reducing negative comparisons.

Overall, researchers found that users viewing more celebrity content in their Instagram feed was associated with negative comparison; simultaneously almost half of the content viewed by users on the platform comes from celebrity accounts.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address


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