YouTube announced, this Thursday (2), changes regarding content recommendations for teen users. In particular, the platform will limit repeated suggestions of videos with themes that affect the well-being of those under 18 years of age. The action will begin in the United States and is expected to reach more countries over the next year.
Materials that may trigger body image issues, such as comparing physical characteristics and promoting body standards, will have limited viewings. The same applies to videos that have some “social aggression” content.
According to YouTube, videos with the topics mentioned above are not harmful when viewed in isolation. However, continued exposure to certain materials can affect the mental health of adolescents.
Experts indicate that young people are more likely to create negative beliefs about themselves when they see repeated messages about ideal standards. Thus, the content consumed online can have a great impact on this stage of development.
YouTube’s recommendations are based on the topics that users watch most often. Then, the platform had the support of Google’s Advisory Committee to review the standards for content suggestions for the teen audience
What’s new on YouTube
YouTube has revamped the format of “Take a Break” and “Bedtime” prompts for audiences under the age of 18. For example, reminders will be more frequent and visually appealing compared to the standard introduced in 2018.
The platform will also expand tools to help young people search for videos related to suicide, self-harm and eating disorders. Teens will see phone suggestions for support centers and recommendations for content on “self-compassion” and other positive topics.
YouTube says it has partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the group Common Sense Media to develop the new standards for teen audiences. In addition, the company wants to produce educational products for parents and children with guidelines on safe habits on the internet.