Facebook's full research on teen use of Instagram leaked ahead of Senate hearing

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Facebook, due to testify before the Senate, has published two of its research documents into how teenagers are affected by using Instagram — but four more reports have been leaked.

The Senate Commerce Committee's consumer protection subcommittee is to hear testimony from Facebook on Thursday, concerning the company's services and their effect on the mental health of teenagers. The hearing was prompted by a Wall Street Journal article that claimed, "Facebook knows Instagram is toxic for teen girls."

That article was based on internal Facebook documents, but the company claimed in a blog post that the Wall Street Journal was a "mischaracterization" of the truth. It also published what it implied were the complete findings of its research into teen use of Instagram.

"Earlier today, we provided Congress with the two full research decks that were the primary focus of the Wall Street Journal's mischaracterization of internal Instagram research into teenagers and well-being," continued the blog post.

Facebook also publicly released these two documents, and noted that it found teenagers reporting "both positive and negative experiences with social media."

Ahead of the Senate hearing, however, the Wall Street Journal has now published four further Facebook research reports. All six documents are now available to read on the Wall Street Journal site.

Separately, Facebook has recently halted development of what it called "Instagram Kids." Aimed at children and younger teenagers, the new service is still being worked on, but Facebook says it intends now to work more with parents, and regulators.