YouTube updating its policies on content linked to eating disorders


YouTube is updating its policy governing content related to eating disorders, the social media platform said in a statement Tuesday. File Photo by John G. Mabanglo/EPA-EFE

YouTube is updating its policy governing content related to eating disorders, the social media platform said in a statement Tuesday. File Photo by John G. Mabanglo/EPA-EFE

April 18 (UPI) — YouTube is updating its policy governing content related to eating disorders, the social media platform said in a statement Tuesday.

The Google-owned video content platform will change its approach in the coming weeks, “informed by third-party experts.”

Last month, a research paper published in Britain looking at 17 different countries, found social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube may contribute to eating disorders among young people. The review found social media can create unachievable or unrealistic physical standards, leading to disorders.

YouTube, Google’s second-most visited page after Google Search, has faced pressure from American regulators for years. Its executives have faced calls to enact stricter safety measures for children and teens.

Another scientific paper published last fall drew similar conclusions looking mostly at TikTok, finding that diet advice on the popular social media platform was contributing to unhealthy relationships.

Youtube said Tuesday it consulted with the National Eating Disorder Association, AsociaciĆ³n de Lucha contra la Bulimia y la Anorexia and other unspecified experts to develop its new guidelines and framework.

“We’ve long had policies to remove content that glorifies or promotes eating disorders. Moving forward, we’ll be updating our community guidelines to also prohibit content about eating disorders that feature imitable behavior, or behavior that we worked with experts to determine can lead at-risk viewers to imitate,” the company said in a statement.

The company said that “could include” content showing “disordered eating behaviors, such as purging after eating or severely restricting calories,” or “weight-based bullying in the context of eating disorders.”

It will also move to implement age restrictions on certain video content.

“Context will be key when it comes to this often nuanced content, and that’s why our approach relies on product features in addition to policies,” the California-based company said Tuesday.



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