Joe Scarborough says ‘Facebook reminds me of big tobacco’


Host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Joe Scarborough blasted Facebook Wednesday morning, comparing it to big tobacco for how toxic it can be for its users. Scarborough was reporting on the Wall Street Journal’s Tuesday article, which revealed that Facebook had researched the negative impact the site was having on its young users. As a result, the company found that teenage girls are most notably affected.

First, Joe Scarborough noticed this trend when he visited a New Jersey University. There, the dean told him of all the adverse effects of social media on the students.

“Since that time, I have seen one story after another story after another story talking about how Instagram leads to anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation among our teenage girls,” Scarborough said. “I started saying to Mika five years ago, Facebook reminds me of big tobacco. They know their product is damaging people. They know it’s causing people to kill themselves. They know it’s causing depression and anxiety, and they’re really not doing anything about it.”

However, back in May, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri called the same research showed effects were “quite small.” So, he responded to the Journal’s article Tuesday.

“The WSJ’s story today on research we’re doing to understand young people’s experiences on IG casts our findings in a negative light, but speaks to important issues,” Mosseri tweeted. “We stand by this work and believe more companies should be doing the same.”

But Scarborough is unconvinced, saying he wished the social tech giant would hold itself to the same standard it holds its users. “And I guess the question is, why they can let people be slandered and publish lies that kill people?” Scarborough said. “Why is there one rule for Facebook and one rule for the rest of us?”

This latest article from the Wall Street Journal is part of a series the paper is calling “The Facebook Files.” Read the full article here.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.