YouTube’s updated guidelines for dealing with eating disorder content on its platform appear to be an attempt to curtail the disturbing number of users who are promoting eating disorders on the platform. The new restrictions prohibit users from posting content that glorifies or promotes eating disorders, particularly if it could lead others to imitate the disorder. Hopefully, this new policy will help dissuade would-be eaters from viewing and sharing videos about an illness that can seriously damage someone’s health and well-being.
In order to create a healthy Facebook environment for its users, YouTube has decidedly taken a harder stance against risky behaviors, including weight-based bullying in the context of eating disorders. This stricter policy is likely meant to protect viewers from imitating such harmful behavior and potentially developing an eating disorder themselves.
YouTube announced that videos that are centered on eating disorder recovery or include sufficient educational, documentary, scientific or artistic context (EDSA) may receive an age restriction and/or a crisis resource panel. This means that people who are dealing with an eating disorder will have easier access to resources like information and support. It’s important to remember that while EDSA content is helpful, it’s not medically accurate and should not be used as a replacement for professional help.
YouTube is introducing age restrictions on certain content about eating disorders. As a result, some videos will not be available to viewers under 18, if you’re signed out or if the video is embedded on another website. This policy may limit access to informative content for people who are seeking help with this Complex Mental Health topic.
While using YouTube to share their recovery journey, some disordered eating behaviors may result in the creator being age-restricted. This is likely because many young people struggling with an eating disorder are afraid of getting public backlash or judgment. However, by sharing their story and journey online, these creators can help others who are struggling to find help and overcome their addiction.
The company has updated their community guidelines to restrict access to eating disorder-related videos for those under the age of 18. This is in response to the increasing rates of eating disorders in younger populations, as well as concerns that younger viewers may be more susceptible to imitating these behaviors. The restrictions will take some time to fully ramp up, so they may not be immediately visible.
Since the launch of crisis resource panels on YouTube, the platform has seen a staggering increase in viewership of these panels related to eating disorders. In addition, according to YouTube, this change will help them reach an even broader audience with important context and mental health resources. Although eating disorders are not as widely known as some other mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, they are still serious issues that need to be dealt with head-on. If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please seek help. There are many resources available online and through local support groups.
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YouTube is launching a series of policy updates designed to create a more inclusive and supportive community for people with eating disorders. The policies will focus on creating space for recovery, as well as preventing potential harm to viewers. The updates were developed in consultation with the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), and other nonprofit organizations.
Opponents of social media platforms like YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat argue that their youths are excessively harmed by content on these sites. In 2021, lawmakers questioned executives from YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat about how their platforms deal with eating disorder content. They cited evidence from constituents about teenagers on these sites who have still suffered from illnesses like anorexia and bulimia. Nevertheless, social media companies maintain that they each have policies prohibiting content that promotes eating disorders. This policy update is likely in response to growing scrutiny of social media’s role in negatively impacting young users.
Experts say that although some people find comfort and support in watching videos about how someone overcame an eating disorder, others may become deeply entrenched in the negative mentality that can accompany such a condition. YouTube is now cracking down on certain types of content related to eating disorders, as it wants to help those with weight concerns but also avoid promoting unhealthy attitudes and behaviors.
The YouTube announcement today of new features aimed at making the platform safer for users has been met with mixed reactions. Some users are excited to see more proactive measures taken to protect them, while others worry about potential implications for freedom of speech. It remains to be seen how effective these new features will be in mitigating abuse and overall safety concerns, but YouTube is clearly dedicated to addressing them.