YouTube rolls out new policies for eating disorder content

YouTube on Tuesday announced that it is updating its guidelines in order to deal with eating disorder content. Although the Google-owned platform had earlier as well removed content that glorifies or promotes eating disorders, it will now also ban content about eating disorders that users could be promoted to emulate.

The online video sharing app will also prohibit content that would encourage susceptible people to emulate specific behaviours such as weight-based bullying in the context of eating disorders.

YouTube has also decided to fix an age restriction and or crisis resource panel for content centered around eating disorder recovery or include a sufficient educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic context (EDSA). The platform has said that the content that contains EDSA or discusses disordered eating behaviours even in the context of recovery may still not be suitable for all ages. Consequently, the updated policy will bar people under the age of 19 from watching some videos.

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For instance, YouTube may impose an age restriction on videos where the creator discusses their experience with disordered eating while also throwing light on their path to recovery.

“We developed this age restriction approach for eating disorder-related videos in consultation with third-party experts to strike the right balance in our continuing efforts to protect younger viewers from content they may be more susceptible to imitating than adults,” the company said in a blog post.

“As with all our Community Guidelines updates, these age restrictions will take some time to fully ramp up, so you may not see them right away,” it added.

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The crisis resource panels of the social media platform is currently placed at the top of search results related to eating disorders in the United States, United Kingdom, India, Canada, Japan, Korea, Mexico, France, and Germany. Crisis resource panels are now displayed at the top of YouTube searches for eating disorders in the US, UK, India, Canada, Japan, Korea, Mexico, France, and Germany. The corporation is already expanding its crisis resource panels to appear on Watch pages in these nations as well.

With these changes, YouTube hopes to provide valuable information and tools for mental health to an even larger audience with important context and resources. In the future, the platform intends to introduce these panels in even more nations.

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The updated policy move comes as YouTube has been facing increasing scrutiny for negatively impacting youngsters.

The features that have been announced today were just introduced and will become more prominent over the next few weeks after going live. These initiatives are ongoing, and YouTube says it will keep working to make sure viewers can feel safe on its site.

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