MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough laid into Facebook and Congress during a Wednesday morning rant, arguing that Instagram was “killing teenage girls.”
Scarborough and his co-hosts on “Morning Joe” addressed a Wall Street Journal report indicating Facebook officials were aware that Instagram, its photo-sharing platform, was negatively impacting mental health in teenage girls. (RELATED: ‘We Just Can’t Keep Abandoning Allies’: Joe Scarborough Goes After Biden, Calls Afghanistan Withdrawal A ‘Political Disaster’)
“This Wall Street Journal story landed like a bomb in our house yesterday,” co-host Willie Geist began, saying that it shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that teens — especially girls — would be susceptible to depression and increased suicide rates when they were constantly comparing themselves to an impossible ideal and being rated by others on the platform.
“You can see if you’ve got a teenage girl how unhealthy that is, and as you say it’s maddening to know that Facebook for the last three years has been all too aware of the effect that they’re product has, but it makes them $100 billion a year,” he continued, noting that Facebook was unlikely to take any action as long as Instagram was profitable. “That is where their bread is buttered. It will be up to someone on the outside to do something about it. Facebook knows, and doesn’t seem to want to do anything.”
Co-host Mika Brzezinski added that some of the higher-ups at tech companies did not allow their own children access to their own products because they understood the dangers they presented.
Scarborough jumped in then and focused his ire on Congress, arguing that social networking sites bore responsibility for the spread of misinformation on everything from the coronavirus pandemic to the Capitol riots on Jan. 6 and asserting that lawmakers had a responsibility to hold them to account.
“Their documents showing they know their product — and it is a product just like cigarettes are a product — that their product is killing teenage girls! Their product is destroying the lives of teenage girls! Their product is causing anxiety to rise in teenage girls! Their product is causing depression to rise in teenage girls!” Scarborough continued, becoming more and more emotional.
“And on Capitol Hill, you do nothing! You do nothing in the House. You do nothing in the Senate. You mumble around on campaign trails. You try blame the other side. No, this is you! This is you. You have a voting card. You have a voice, you represent this country in congress. Stop telling us what you can’t do, and start holding this malignant force in America in check,” he shouted.