In response to the complex relationship between mental health issues and online content, YouTube is updating its approach to videos depicting eating disorders.
While YouTube has long removed content that glorifies or promotes eating disorders, it will now prohibit content featuring imitable behavior.
Such content may include videos showing or describing disordered eating behaviors, such as purging after eating or severely restricting calories, and weight-based bullying.
YouTube notes it will consider the context when evaluating nuanced content.
The company’s goal is to create a safe space for community, recovery, and resources while continuing to protect viewers from potential triggers.
Here’s more about YouTube’s policy changes.
Age Restrictions & Crisis Resource Panels
Videos focusing on eating disorder-related behaviors that other people can imitate are prohibited.
Videos centered on eating disorder recovery or providing sufficient educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic context (EDSA) may remain on YouTube.
However, these videos will receive an age restriction or a crisis resource panel.
Age restrictions will be applied to specific content, making it unavailable to viewers under 18.
YouTube’s age restriction approach for eating disorder-related videos was developed in consultation with third-party experts.
Collaborating With Mental Health Organizations
YouTube has partnered with experts from organizations like the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) to develop a framework for managing eating disorder-related content.
The framework includes the following:
- Expanding the scope of YouTube’s Community Guidelines.
- Age-restricting certain videos.
- Surfacing crisis resource panels under videos discussing eating disorders.
Crisis resource panels provide resources and information from global mental health support organizations.
In several countries, these panels are displayed at the top of the screen for searches related to eating disorders.
The updated framework for eating disorder-related content will be visible starting today and ramping up in the coming weeks.
YouTube’s updated policies and features for eating disorder-related content demonstrate its dedication to promoting mental health awareness and supporting those in recovery.
By collaborating with experts, implementing age restrictions, and expanding crisis resource panels, YouTube is taking significant steps toward ensuring a safe and inclusive online community.
YouTube will closely monitor the impact of these changes and aims to find a balance between providing helpful resources and protecting vulnerable viewers.
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