YouTube's New Teen Safeguards: Putting Wellbeing First
November 02, 2023
1 min 16 sec read
Nowadays, digital screens have become an integral part of our lives, especially for the younger generation, so the influence of online content cannot be underestimated. Recognizing this, YouTube is taking proactive measures to prioritize the mental and emotional wellbeing of its teenage users
The platform has introduced safeguards that limit repeated viewing of specific video topics known to trigger body image concerns and social aggression.
These safeguards are designed to curb the repeated recommendations of videos that delve into sensitive topics. The first category includes videos that compare physical features, promote idealized body types, specific weights, or fitness levels. By reducing the exposure to such content, YouTube is addressing the harmful impact it can have on impressionable teens.
In addition to body image concerns, YouTube is also addressing videos that display what it terms "social aggression." This refers to content depicting non-contact fights or intimidation, which can perpetuate negative social dynamics and aggressive behavior among teenagers. By limiting repeated viewing of such content, YouTube is taking steps to create a safer online environment for its younger audience.
The introduction of these safeguards in the U.S. is a response to the growing calls for child safety regulations. The bipartisan bill, KOSA (the Kids Online Safety Act), has gained momentum over the past year and recently added Senator Elizabeth Warren as a co-sponsor.
Expert guidance plays a pivotal role in the identification of problematic content. YouTube's youth and family advisory committee, comprised of experts in child development, digital learning, and media, played a significant role in categorizing content that, although seemingly benign as individual videos, could pose risks when repeatedly viewed by teens.
As we move forward, it's heartening to witness YouTube's proactive efforts to prioritize the mental and emotional wellbeing of young users. These safeguards not only reflect YouTube's commitment to providing a responsible platform but also underscore the importance of industry leaders taking the lead in fostering a healthier online environment.
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