YouTube recently announced changes it made to the community guidelines surrounding eating disorders videos. In addition to removing content that glorifies or promotes eating disorders, the updated policies also prohibit content that contains harmful behaviors, such as purging after eating or extreme caloric restriction, and weight-based bullying that susceptible users could be motivated to imitate.
The streaming platform said it would review the video’s context before taking it down. With some restrictions, YouTube will continue to allow educational, documentary, scientific or artistic eating disorder content. For example, educational or artistic videos may still be considered inappropriate for all ages.
For such content, YouTube may restrict viewing to audiences 18 or older.
The streaming platform will also add a “crisis resource panel” beneath informational eating disorder videos about eating disorders. These panels include contact information for mental health practitioners assisting individuals with eating disorders.
Instead of watching YouTube videos, individuals can speak with someone from the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). Use either the call-in helpline or the online chat helpline.
The NEDA website offers a short eating disorders screening, which is appropriate for those 13 and older. If a person is feeling suicidal or has suicidal thoughts, call the Suicide & Crisis Hotline at 988. or chat.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
CNN: YouTube rolls out new policies for eating disorder content; by Clare Duffy
Forbes: YouTube Will Ban Videos Showing ‘Imitable Behavior’ Linked To Eating Disorders Among Young Users; by Siladitya Ray
National Eating Disorders Association: Help & Support