WSJ: Facebook Research Found 1 in 8 Users Display Compulsive Behavior on Platform that Hurts Their Life

Mark Zuckerberg CEO of Facebook
Associated Press

According to the latest report from the Wall Street Journal, Facebook researchers found in one survey that one in eight users reported engaging in compulsive use of social media that had a negative impact on their life. Researchers refer to this as “problematic use” of the platform.

The Wall Street Journal reports that according to internal Facebook documents, company researchers found in a study that one in eight Facebook users reported engaging in compulsive use of social media that impacted their work, sleep, parenting, or relationships.

teenagers look at phone

teenagers look at phone ( NICHOLAS KAMM/Getty)

Mark Zuckerberg swallows a giggle. Drew Angerer /Getty

Researchers refer to this as “problematic use” of the platform. Users questioned noted that they found the issue worse on Facebook than any other social media platform such as Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, etc. A Facebook team focused on user well-being and health suggested a number of fixes to the issue including building in national features to encourage breaks from social media and the reduction of platform notifications.

Some of these fixes were implemented, but the user well-being team was shut down by Facebook in 2019. A Facebook spokesperson said that the company has begun formulating new ways to address problematic use of the platform alongside other well-being issues such as body image and mental health in recent months.

“We have a role to play, which is why we’ve built tools and controls to help people manage when and how they use our services,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Furthermore, we have a dedicated team working across our platforms to better understand these issues and ensure people are using our apps in ways that are meaningful to them.”

Breitbart News has reported extensively on the “Facebook Files” series from the Wall Street Journal which made a number of damning claims about the tech giant based on a series of internal company documents.

The Wall Street Journal claimed that Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm saw a major change in 2018 that appeared to promote outrageous and negative content on the platform. When informed of this, top executives including CEO Mark Zuckerberg were allegedly hesitant to solve the issue.

The internal documents also appear to reveal that the tech giant Apple threatened to remove Facebook from its App Store in 2019 following a report from BBC News that detailed the human trafficking taking place across the social media platform.

One of the most damning reports was titled “Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show,” in which the Journal claims that Facebook is aware that its photo-sharing app Instagram can have a negative effect on the body image of young women.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address


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