Alert! YouTube just rolled out new teen safeguards; new cap to prohibit harmful content
YouTube has introduced new safeguards for teen users, limiting harmful content recommendations and enhancing break reminders, while partnering with organisations to promote online well-being.
YouTube is taking significant steps to safeguard its teenage users by introducing new updates aimed at reducing their exposure to potentially harmful content. The platform is also expanding its features to encourage young users to take breaks from the app. In collaboration with child development experts, YouTube has gained valuable insights into the content types that may be harmful to teenagers, particularly when exposed repeatedly. The platform acknowledges the negative impact of certain content on teenagers, stating, "Teens are more likely than adults to form negative beliefs about themselves when seeing repeated messages about ideal standards in content they consume online."
Content Limitations for Teen Users
To address this concern, YouTube will restrict content recommendations in specific categories for teens, including content that compares physical features and promotes certain types over others, content idealising specific fitness levels or body weights, and content displaying social aggression in non-contact fights and intimidation. While a single video on these topics may not be problematic, repeated exposure can have adverse effects on teenagers.
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Notably, YouTube's approach to combating harmful content aligns with some aspects of the Chinese Government's approach to Douyin, the local version of TikTok. In the case of Douyin, Chinese authorities intervened to promote more positive content among young users, although their approach is more coercive than YouTube's nudges and guidance.
YouTube is also enhancing its "Take a Break" reminders for teen users, making them more prominent within the app. Additionally, the platform is expanding its crisis resource panels into a full-page experience, providing users with access to help topics when searching for queries related to suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders.
Collaboration for Online Well-being
Furthermore, YouTube is teaming up with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Common Sense Networks to develop additional resources related to teen online well-being. These resources will include tips for developing safe online habits, creating content with sensibility and awareness, and more.
These initiatives are crucial in reducing harm among young users, particularly content creators who often face the pressure of maintaining a consistent content schedule to maximise their opportunities. YouTube's commitment to the well-being of teenage users reflects a growing awareness of the influence of online habits on real-world behaviours and the importance of addressing these issues.