YouTube announced Thursday that it would limit “repeated recommendations” of videos that risk harming the mental health of adolescents, while the methods of digital platforms to attract young people are in the crosshairs of the authorities.
Youtube wants to limit videos that convey “physical standards”
Videos “who compare physical characteristics and idealize some over others, who idealize specific fitness levels or body weights” will no longer be suggested to adolescents repeatedly, first in the United States then in other countries next year, indicated a press release from the Google service.
“Adolescents are more likely than adults to form negative self-images when they see repeated messages about ideal standards in content they consume online“, recognized James Beser, one of the managers of the platform.
Meta, TikTok attacked by several American states
Last week, more than forty American states launched lawsuits against Meta, accusing its Facebook and Instagram applications of harming the “mental and physical health of young people”.
According to the attorneys general, the social media giant attracts and retains the attention of young people with addictive features (such as short videos to scroll without seeing the time passing), knowing that the content and prolonged use of these applications cause “considerable harm” to their health.
Similar accusations have been made against TikTok, banned by numerous organizations and the state of Montana for geopolitical reasons but also linked to the protection of children.
Social networks accused of being harmful to the mental health of young people
Up to 95% of young Americans aged 13 to 17 say they use a social network, a third of whom use it “almost constantly,” according to the Pew Research Center.
Last May, Vivek Murthy, the chief medical officer of the United States, warned about “extremely harmful effects“what can social networks have, considering that they played a major role in the “national youth mental health crisis“, and in particular that of young girls, more vulnerable to the risks of cyber-harassment or eating disorders.
YouTube also recalled existing measures to protect adolescents, such as the removal of content involving incitement to hatred, harassment or eating disorders.
The platform also plans to increase the frequency of reminders to take breaks or go to bed for Internet users under 18 years old.