Facebook admitted in a post Friday that too much passive consumption of content on the site can be harmful. (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
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Facebook, in a moment of surprising transparency, has admitted that the site is bad for people.
A couple of researchers for the social media site wrote that reading the News Feed too much makes people feel worse about themselves.
What they said
A blog post on Facebook written by Director of Research David Ginsberg and Research Scientist Moira Burke outlined the potential harms of Facebook use:
“In general, when people spend a lot of time passively consuming information — reading but not interacting with people — they report feeling worse afterward,” they wrote.
The post cited several academic studies from universities showing users reported worse-than-average mental health based on the number of Facebook links they clicked or how many minutes they spent on the News Feed without interacting with people online.
So, as counterintuitive as seems to their business, Facebook employees recommend that users don’t spend too much time consuming content on their website.
What they’re doing about it
As a potential solution, the post stated that Facebook is working to make the site “more about social interaction and less about spending time.”
They recommended that users intentionally become active with interactions rather than being passive consumers.
“Facebook has always been about bringing people together — from the early days when we started reminding people about their friends’ birthdays, to showing people their memories with friends using the feature we call ‘On This Day.’”
They also listed some features that they believe will help people manage their Facebook use more effectively, such as a tool limiting what they see from their ex, the ability to “snooze” users to hide their posts for 30 days, and suicide prevention tools.
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