Eating disorder information updated 2023

Eating disorders are isolated and stigmatizing worldwide. We want to empower YouTube creators to keep sharing their stories about eating disorders.

Because our users have varied backgrounds, the same video can affect them differently. A creator’s eating disorder recovery video can start an important conversation and make some feel less alone, but it may trigger others. Especially if it involves abnormal behavior details.

YouTube will update its approach to eating disorder-related content in the coming weeks, influenced by third-party experts, to foster community, rehabilitation, and services while protecting users.

We worked with experts like National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) and AsociaciĆ³n de Lucha contra la Bulimia y la Anorexia (ALUBA) to develop a comprehensive framework that includes expanding our Community Guidelines, age-restricting certain videos, and surfacing crisis resource panels under eating disorder videos.

Updating eating disorder content policies

We’ve long banned eating disorder-promoting content. Our Community Guidelines will be updated to restrict eating disorder content that features imitable behavior, or behavior we worked with experts to find can drive at-risk viewers to emulate. Videos showing or describing:

  • Disordered eating includes purging after eating or excessively reducing calories.
  • Eating disorder-related weight bullying

We worked with NEDA and other groups to better understand imitable behavior, how it can appear in content, and how it can affect vulnerable viewers when designing the new policy.

We use product features and policies to provide context for this nuanced content. Eating disorder rehabilitation videos may have an age limit and a crisis resource panel.

Age-limiting eating disorder videos

We’re restricting eating disorder content that involves EDSA or discusses disordered eating in recovery. If you’re signed out or the video is embedded on another website, certain videos won’t be visible to under-18s.

We may age-restrict films if a creator discusses disordered eating and recovery.

We worked with third-party experts to find the correct age limit for eating disorder-related videos to safeguard younger viewers from content they may be more likely to imitate than adults. These age limitations will take time to fully roll out, as with all our Community Guidelines modifications.

Adding eating disorder crisis resource panels to films

Crisis resource panels appear at the top of eating disorder searches on YouTube in the US, UK, India, Canada, Japan, Korea, Mexico, France, and Germany. Crisis resource panels present information from global mental health support organizations including NEDA in the U.S. and Vandrevala in India.

In addition to the new policies and age limitations, crisis resource panels will appear on Watch sites in certain countries. Panels under eating disorder videos provide context and mental health resources to a wider audience. Panels will go out slowly, like the policies above.

We’ll introduce panels in more nations and languages in the future.

This policy and product upgrade expands YouTube’s efforts to provide authoritative health information and high-quality content. Today’s announcement follows YouTube’s partnership with NEDA to launch a year-long eating disorder video series. Clinicians, especially mental health specialists, can apply for our health product features.

This improved structure for eating disorder-related information will be exposed today and scale up in the following weeks. We’ll keep making YouTube a safe place for honest and varied storytelling.

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