YouTube will limit “repeated recommendations” of videos that could harm teens’ mental health, at a time when the digital platforms’ methods of attracting young people are in the crosshairs of the authorities.
He confirmed Thursday that videos “that compare physical characteristics and idealize some over others, and that idealize certain levels of fitness or body weights” will not be repeatedly suggested to teens, first in the United States and then in other countries next year. Adel, in a statement, announced the technology giant Google’s platform.
“Teens are more likely than adults to form negative self-images when they see repeated messages about ideal standards in the content they consume online,” explained James Besser, one of the leaders of the platform.
Last week, more than forty states in North America filed legal action against Meta, accusing its Facebook and Instagram apps of harming “the physical and mental health of young people.”
According to prosecutors, the social media giant attracts and retains the attention of young people with addictive features, such as short videos that can be scrolled through without seeing the passage of time, knowing that the content of these applications and their prolonged use causes “significant harm” to users. Their health.
Similar accusations have been made against the Chinese TikTok platform, which has been banned by several organizations and the state of Montana for geopolitical reasons, but also related to the protection of children.
Up to 95% of young Americans between the ages of 13 and 17 say they use a social network, and a third of them use it “almost constantly,” according to the Pew Research Center.
In May, Vivek Murthy, the US chief medical officer, warned of the “extremely harmful effects” that social media could have, believing it was playing a significant role in the “national mental health crisis of young people” and, in particular, that of girls. , are more at risk of online harassment or eating disorders.
YouTube also pointed to existing measures to protect teens, such as removing content that includes hate speech, harassment, or eating disorders. The platform also plans to increase the number of reminders to take breaks or sleep for internet users under the age of 18.
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