Facebook, The Jig is Up

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Well, if you didn’t know that Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were “down” for seven hours on Monday, I envy you, because that means you’re not glued to your phone like I am.

But yes – the internet was up in arms after they couldn’t get their social media fix for most of Monday afternoon.

The Facebook Whistleblower revealed some ugly truths about FB and Instagram. Including its knowledge of how harmful it is to teen girls, their body image and mental health. What can we take away from this ugly expose, and where do we go from here? #socialmedia #facebook #facebookwhistleblower #recovery #edrecovery #bodyimage #selflove #mentalhealth #eatingdisorder #catholic

And while that inconvenience was annoying, sure…I think it was a planned outage, as the timing was a little too convenient, given that during the exact same time, the Facebook whistleblower was blowing up the global news scene.

An attempt to bury the story? Or an attempt to draw even more attention to it? Or, merely an uncanny coincidence? Who knows.

What I do know, is that the information that came out absolutely disgusts me.

Now, let’s be honest, I’m not surprised.

The Facebook Whistleblower revealed some ugly truths about FB and Instagram. Including its knowledge of how harmful it is to teen girls, their body image and mental health. What can we take away from this ugly expose, and where do we go from here? #socialmedia #facebook #facebookwhistleblower #recovery #edrecovery #bodyimage #selflove #mentalhealth #eatingdisorder #catholic

The fact that we learned that Zuckerberg and Co. were tailoring the apps – Instagram in particular – to make people spend as much time on their platform is no surprise here.

The Facebook Whistleblower revealed some ugly truths about FB and Instagram. Including its knowledge of how harmful it is to teen girls, their body image and mental health. What can we take away from this ugly expose, and where do we go from here? #socialmedia #facebook #facebookwhistleblower #recovery #edrecovery #bodyimage #selflove #mentalhealth #eatingdisorder #catholic

Learning that they were preying on and amplifying young women’s insecurities to keep them on the app, now that is a level of sinister that I cannot believe.

The Facebook Whistleblower revealed some ugly truths about FB and Instagram. Including its knowledge of how harmful it is to teen girls, their body image and mental health. What can we take away from this ugly expose, and where do we go from here? #socialmedia #facebook #facebookwhistleblower #recovery #edrecovery #bodyimage #selflove #mentalhealth #eatingdisorder #catholic

According to the whistleblower, Frances Haugen, Instagram (owned by Facebook) knew the harm that it was causing…knowing that the app worsened body image issues for 1 in 3 teens, and for those struggling with eating disorders, spending time on Instagram made them worse.

And Facebook also knew that their app increased suicidal thoughts in 13.5 percent of teenage girls.

Hearing that is heart wrenching and sad – but sadly, it’s makes sense, when the app is created as a highlight reel, for people to sit and scroll for hours at a time, comparing their bodies with photoshopped images, comparing their lives to celebrities‘ lavish lifestyles and vacations, comparing their social lives to the popular kids’ posts at school, and comparing their “worth” to the number of likes their posts receive.

But what Haugen revealed that was truly nefarious, is how Facebook/Instagram would recommend “pro-anorexia” videos to users who searched for “nutrition” or “diet tips” in an effort to boost the algorithms’ secret combination for addiction: virality and engagement.

*sigh*

I cannot even begin to express how absolutely terrible that is.

I’m going to be honest, I know a little bit about those “anorexia” communities of Instagram. In fact, I started my blog after I stumbled across one of those pro-ana secret communities on Instagram.

My heart broke to see all these young girls struggling so hard, and “bragging” about their “body-check” photos where their ribs and chest bones were protruding. Where they’d post a photo of the scale with terrifyingly low numbers, or feeding tubes or IV drips at the hospital where they’d been admitted.

Gut wrenching images, glorifying a disease that kills young women, and almost killed me.

And seeing those images as a young woman who was strong in recovery, it broke me to know that, had I had access to a global anorexia-glorifying community like this — where they’d encourage one another to skip meals, or purge, or lose more weight — I hate to admit that I most certainly would have, at the very least, found a sick fascination with it, if not had fully participated.

So to think of the terrible, horrific, and deadly repercussions such groups have caused, I am disgusted that Instagram would willingly and purposefully promote it, for “virality and engagement’s” sake.

Listening to this repulsive news break over the past couple days, there were three words that kept popping up in my mind, like a broken record on repeat.

Guard your heart.

And the more news I listened to, the louder those words got. So I decided to unpack.

If there has been one thing that has been the most practically beneficial for my recovery — one thing that has helped keep me on the “straight and narrow” for the last 14 years now, it would be that: guard your heart.

The Facebook Whistleblower revealed some ugly truths about FB and Instagram. Including its knowledge of how harmful it is to teen girls, their body image and mental health. What can we take away from this ugly expose, and where do we go from here? #socialmedia #facebook #facebookwhistleblower #recovery #edrecovery #bodyimage #selflove #mentalhealth #eatingdisorder #catholic

Guarding my heart. Guarding my thoughts. Guarding my recovery.

There’s a reason why I don’t follow models or celebrities (other than Justin Bieber) on Instagram. There’s a reason why I don’t obsess over New York Fashion Week or the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, or watch movies like The Black Swan where the lead is waif thin.

It’s because I’m guarding my recovery. Because whether you’re in recovery or not, what we consume matters.

Violent images, promiscuous themes or song lyrics, graphic sexual violence or pornographic content. Filthy language. Devious and disrespectful behavior glorified in characters or storylines. These things grate away at our souls, truly.

That is not an overreaction, or some puritan, out-of-touch-with-reality idea.

We are what we consume on a regular basis. And it is terrifying to think what Instagram and social media exposes – not only us to – but children.

The Facebook Whistleblower revealed some ugly truths about FB and Instagram. Including its knowledge of how harmful it is to teen girls, their body image and mental health. What can we take away from this ugly expose, and where do we go from here? #socialmedia #facebook #facebookwhistleblower #recovery #edrecovery #bodyimage #selflove #mentalhealth #eatingdisorder #catholic

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Phil 4:8

The Facebook Whistleblower revealed some ugly truths about FB and Instagram. Including its knowledge of how harmful it is to teen girls, their body image and mental health. What can we take away from this ugly expose, and where do we go from here? #socialmedia #facebook #facebookwhistleblower #recovery #edrecovery #bodyimage #selflove #mentalhealth #eatingdisorder #catholic

Spending time on a platform where people only project their “perfect” side of life, where images of beautiful models and celebrities are airbrushed and manipulated to an unachievable standard of beauty, where you’re constantly comparing your looks, your life, your achievements, your existence — to everyone else’s filtered version of reality on a global scale, it’s no wonder depression is rampant in young people.

Facebook knew that. And instead of doing something that change it, they escalated it.

I don’t know what the solution is here. To boycott, to sell stock. I just don’t know. Because my heart always finds its way back to those hurting young girls, posting their thigh gaps on pro-ana communities.

For me, I’m going to continue to try to be a light. To use my account, @beauty.beyond.bones to be a counter-example, illuminating the beauty and joy of recovery — a life without ED. Showing that freedom is possible, and worth it. Reminding them that they are worth it.

The Facebook Whistleblower revealed some ugly truths about FB and Instagram. Including its knowledge of how harmful it is to teen girls, their body image and mental health. What can we take away from this ugly expose, and where do we go from here? #socialmedia #facebook #facebookwhistleblower #recovery #edrecovery #bodyimage #selflove #mentalhealth #eatingdisorder #catholic

In my mind, Instagram is like hand-to-hand evangelization. I know I am willingly stepping into the lion’s den. But if there’s an opportunity to reach even one person, and impress upon them the beauty of recovery, then I will willing answer the call.

The Facebook Whistleblower revealed some ugly truths about FB and Instagram. Including its knowledge of how harmful it is to teen girls, their body image and mental health. What can we take away from this ugly expose, and where do we go from here? #socialmedia #facebook #facebookwhistleblower #recovery #edrecovery #bodyimage #selflove #mentalhealth #eatingdisorder #catholic

What do you think about what was revealed from the Facebook Whistleblower? Were you surprised? What do you think is next for Zuckerberg and Co?

To hear my story, click here.

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62 thoughts on “Facebook, The Jig is Up

  1. Excellent post, Caralyn! Gladly, I’ve never used FB because of the basically nothing but bad news and bad stuff it spews out daily. I use Instagram as a second platform to share my photos from the blog, that’s it.

    IG being down for a while was actually kind of nice! I’m not shocked unfortunately to find out about the dirty deeds that FB and IG are doing. People like you are a bright light in the dark for many women, keep on shining your light! 🙏🏻❤️✝️

    1. Thank you John! Yeah it can definitely be a black hole of negativity at times. Especially when politics is involved!! I agree! I LOVED not having to worry about IG on Monday! Makes me wonder…j should be spending less time on it!! Aww thank you for saying that – truly means a lot! Hugs and love xox

  2. I’m so glad you posted about this topic! None of this whistle-blower stuff surprises me at all. I know first hand how toxic social media can be. I’m trying to detox myself from it. I think this is a wake-up call for all of us to consider.

    1. Thank you Emily. Yeah, sadly not surprising. I think that’s a great plan: detoxing from SM! Im definitely considering it too!! Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

    1. Hi Madeline! Oh that’s great! Yeah, it makes me rethink how much time I spend on it! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thanks Ang! Yeah – It saddens me and makes me sick too. Wrong on so many levels. I am too. Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  3. It seems odd that as a whistleblower she’s asking for more censorship, something the government seems too involved in already. Also she got prime media and news coverage almost immediately, something others have been silenced for and even banned for. Seems “sus”.

    1. Thanks John for sharing your thoughts on this. Very interesting points you bring up. Definitely some heavy things to mull over! Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  4. No surprise. It’s all about money. These companies rely on you to provide the content for free. They rely on stress to sell ads for things to relieve stress. The worse you feel the more likely to you are to buy stuff you didn’t know you needed to relieve a problem you didn’t know you had. But it’s not just social media, it’s all consumer products from cars to cosmetics. Solutions to shortcomings they created. Teen girls and boys are particularly vulnerable and naive and have lots of bucks. That’s what companies count on.

    1. Hi Steven. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I definitely agree that teens are particularly vulnerable. Hugs and love xox

  5. That’s very sad and disturbing. I got off Facebook way back in 2012. I never liked the way it flowed and I couldn’t stand the privacy issues. Never trusted them. I’ve never used Instagram. I got off Twitter in January of this year after they started taking thousands of my followers during the great Twitter purge. They had shadow banned me for a long time, and I was tired of it. The Big Tech oligarchs are tyrants. I have a Gab account, but I hardly use it. Gab is owned by a strong Christian and they don’t persecute free speech, or control people with weird algorithms like the Big Tech sites do. For now I just use WordPress. Social Media can be very toxic, and FB, Twitter, IG, and YouTube are the worst. If God calls a person to preach and help people on those platforms, that is good to do, but that is all I would use it for. Definitely wise to guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life, like the Word says. I pray people wake up to all of this, and stop letting these people control their lives. God bless!

    1. Hey Ryan, yeah – sad and disturbing to say the least! Very wise to have gotten off. I’ve never heard of Gab but will definitely have to look into it!! I do too – joining you in that prayer. Thanks again for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  6. The outage was timed to bury the whistle blower story? You know I’m a conspiracy theorist, so hearing this from you…what can I say? I’m so proud of you!! Seriously, everything is geared toward manipulating the general population. One reason why I stopped using Facebook years ago. I’ve never really understood social media. I know it’s integral to your success, but you’re well armed against the dark side of it. Well done, tonight!

    1. Haha yeah, I’ve definitely got a wild hair that can see a little conspiracy now and then! Haha I agree – I fear we have no idea how manipulated things are. And we are the sheep. Thanks Jeff. Yeah, gotta put on that armor and be ready for those fiery arrows!! I appreciate you!! Hugs and love to you and your girls! Xox

  7. Thanks for the reminder in Phil. 4:8 of what gives life quality. There is very little on TV or Cable or the print media that can lead us in the right direction so it takes mental strength to be in the world but not of the world.

    1. Thanks Ian! Yes! I love that verse. It was on my Mirror growing up. You’re right about that!! That’s why I didn’t go further into mainstream acting. Just a bunch of trash out there. I’ll stick to kids videos and dog food commercials hahaha Hugs and love xox

  8. I didn’t know there were groups that were pro-anorexia or anything like that. It makes me very sad to think how that affects young girls. Thanks for educating me. I’m not surprised at what the whistleblower said, but I’m truly disgusted by corporate America. Companies have become more about the bottom line than the top-shelf character.

    1. Yeah, it is so incredibly sad and disturbing. These platforms should be ashamed of the harm they’ve caused those young girls. Me too. Thank you for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  9. Thanks for this! Any medium can be used for good. However I think we are hard wired to be drawn to the ‘bad’…a matter of degree…that’s why bad news sells and good news does not….

    1. Thank you friend. You’re right about that – good Can definitely be brought about through these mediums, but sadly, so can bad. Hugs and love xox

  10. Well said. The first introduction to FB was my oldest niece some time ago she was so impressed with all the people who followed her that she failed to understand she can’t possibly follow all of them back. Malcolm Gladwell’s (Tipping Point) point of being able to personally know 150 people you can influence cried out to me. Which is why I’ve always had a rule of 100 or less people I’ve followed on FB. Frankly I don’t go on it enough to know what’s happening on it. The political party group I lead has a page and the admin who started it won’t let me post what I want to on it so I’ve been praying for the day FB would do a faceplant and be destroyed. I have a few pages on it and while it’s easy to put together the constant interface change and rude reminders to put up something new is something I can do without. They are horrible to Christian content creators and anyone who doesn’t vote their way.

  11. Caralyn, keep up the good work, and thank you for your witness!!

    I have always said Facebook is evil, and I have never used it. Pictures posted on Facebook usually have a GPS tag that says exactly where and when the picture was taken. Nothing is “private” on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, TikTok; and it was never meant to be.

    The most invasive of them all is Google.

    From what I’ve read, the Facebook “whistleblower” is an operative intended to make Facebook look like the victim. One report said Zuck lost $7 Billion in that one day Facebook was down worldwide. I have my doubts about that. As Mr. Reinberg stated above, it’s all about the money.

    I encourage everyone I know to stop using those platforms (including gmail). One platform – Gab – is a much better choice. Just remember, with a truly “free speech” platform there are going to be all kinds of ideas and statements presented. It goes with the territory. I have not signed up with Gab, because frankly I don’t need to post my life on any social platform other than my blog.

    1. Thank you Myron for sharing your thoughts on this. You’re so right – nothing is private on Facebook. I think we would all be shocked to know how much data and information Big Tech has on us. A scary thought. And I also am in full agreement: money is the root of this, and all evil for sure. You’re the second person who has mentioned Gab – which I have never heard before. I will certainly check it out. thank you so much for passing that site along! Hugs and love xox

  12. When I first heard about the “whistleblower’s tale” I though of you immediately and how you must be mortified by what Zuck has let happen. But, like you, I’m not surprised. Satan is the prince of this world and he’s corrupted every means mankind has come up with to communicate since The Fall. We all must combat his lies with Scriptural truth, even if we have to rub shoulders with his demons in the process.

    1. Hi Rollie, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. Yeah, I was certainly mortified by this. And you’re right – the enemy is definitely having a field day using social media to make people feel isolated, inadequate, preying on vanity, lust, greed. it is really terrifying. Yes – have to hold fast to God’s Word. thank for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

    1. hi Greg, i know — so scary. so disappointing. so disgusting. thanks for stopping by, Hugs and love xox

  13. I’d consider taking this so-called whistleblower with a Metric Eff-Ton of salt: this one smells to me like a plant/setup/distraction/call-it-what-you-like.

    It raises my suspicions when the Mainstream Media can’t stop gushing about something or someone.

    1. Thank you Matt for sharing your thoughts on this. It’s hard to find truth these days, that’s for sure. glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox

    2. Thanks Matt for sharing your thoughts on this. It definitely is interesting timing. I have no idea, but I do know that it’s hard to find truth today! Hugs and love xox

  14. Greet post Caralyn! You are right, the timing was very convenient. I personally believe it was planned as a means of burying the story, but I think it did the opposite. God bless you and ministry.

    1. Hi friend, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this! Yeah, i think you’re right about burying the story. But like you said — made the spotlight brighter! Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you Anita. Yeah, it is so disheartening and sad. glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox

  15. Yes, we were asleep 😴, I mean Australia was middle of the night and early morning when FB, Insta and Whatsapp were down. I know some (most) people got depressed for this very reason. Hope we can learn live without those platforms. Nice blog post.
    Blessings

  16. Thank you, Caralyn for this informative post. These revelations are extremely disturbing but I can say I am not surprised. Keep fighting the good fight. You are an inspiration to many people. Scott

  17. I, too, thought the timing of the FB shutdown was interesting, just the day after the Haugen criticized the behemoth for misdeeds. When I left FB, one had to delete EACH picture you had posted. Fortunately I had only been on the platform for a few years so “only” had a few hundred pics to delete. Then I went back and deleted comments.
    Interesting how many times I encountered the message, “This content will be deleted from your page, but will remain active on FaceBook.” Apparently I am still there is some fashion. Maybe they finally deleted my information in the “reset.”

    Facebook may go away soon, but look for another platform to take its place. People are habituated to the type of interaction they find there, and will hunt for new ways to connect to thousands of people they do not care about. My recommendation is to get off FB, Instagram, TikTok and any other social media site that does not allow careful content analysis like WP offers.

  18. Good article Caralyn! Yes, it is disgusting that these people are taking advantage of others by encouraging such destructive behaviors and pushing them to follow those who are leading them astray. The devil works hard to entice people to destroy themselves and others. It is heartbreaking to see all the evil that is going on.
    You do all that you can to help others and try to open doors for them to thrive. I admire you greatly!

  19. I didn’t even know about Facebook being down for several hours until after it happened. Last year my mental health and my writing life took a massive nose dive and my doctor and my therapist were worried about my increased spike in anxiety and depression levels. That, in and of itself is a long story that i don’t wish to go into.

    Among their many suggestions to help navigate a strange new world in which the 36 years of coping mechanisms I developed were all tossed out the window, the first thing I needed to do to take back control of my life was to disable all notifications on my phone. If something important happens to my friends or family, they can tell me through a direct text and I don’t need to be at the beck and call of my device. The second was to install apps and adjusting the settings to insure I spent no more then ten minutes a day on social media. I took their advice and for the most part, it’s worked.

    1. Hi Jonathon, thank you so much for sharing your story. You bring up such great tools and ideas for taking back control of your life. Our phones are such sources of stress/anxiety/negative comparison — I’m so glad making those changes has been working! Hugs and love xox

      1. Thanks! Honestly a big part of it has been letting go of the “fear of missing out”. I noticed it a lot when I took my big break from Facebook around the election cycle. When I got back on I noticed that I really hadn’t missed anything important and life went on without me looking at Facebook.
        Some of it still persists, but it’s getting better.

      2. that’s really wise – and you’re right – nothing of important “ONLY” happens on Facebook — if it’s really that important, you’ll hear about it elsewhere!!

  20. Good job, Carolyn. Keep up the great work. Might have to figure out a way to work you into a cartoon story soon. In Christ!

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