Instagram’s chief Adam Mosseri has called on US lawmakers to help regulate the platform.
He made the remarks on Wednesday during a Senate hearing which examined the harmful impact of social media on the mental health of teen users.
Mr Mosseri argued that Instagram is actively working to address the app’s negative effects.
However, he called for the creation of industry-wide regulations to police how social media platforms can operate.
In prepared opening remarks, Mr Mosseri rebuffed suggestions that the platform is not doing enough to protect its youngest users.
Users have to be at least 13 years old to have an Instagram account.
“I recognise that many in this room have deep reservations about our company,” he said.
“I want to assure you that we do have the same goal. We all want teens to be safe online. The internet isn’t going away, and I believe there’s important work that we can do together – industry and policymakers – to raise the standards across the internet to better serve and protect young people.”
He also called for an oversight body that would set industry-wide standards for apps including age verification and parental controls.
“This body should receive input from civil society, parents, and regulators. The standards should be high and protections universal,” Mr Mosseri said.
“The reality is that keeping people safe is not just about one company. An external survey from just last month suggested that more US teens are using TikTok and YouTube than Instagram.”
‘The trust is gone’
Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal, who chairs the Senate’s consumer protection subcommittee, said in response that the US is “in the midst of a teen mental health crisis.”
He told the Senate that “the time for self-policing is over”.
“Some of the big tech companies have said ‘trust us.’ That seems to be what Instagram is saying in your testimony,” said Mr Blumenthal. “But self-policing depends on trust and the trust is gone.”