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YouTube is rolling out these three features to support mental health, wellbeing of teens

June 20,2024

New Delhi: Last year, Google-owned YouTube announced partnership and product updates to support wellbeing and mental health of teens on the platform. It is now rolling out those features, which include limiting the recommendation of videos that could be negative if watched repeatedly, in more countries.

James Beser, director, product management, recently spoke about how teens can navigate their growing individual interests. He emphasised that YouTube’s updates will help teens put their safety, privacy and wellbeing on priority.

Additional safeguards for teen content recommendations

Beser explained how YouTube is limiting repeated content recommendations for teens of videos featuring social comparison and aggression. The company worked with an Advisory Committee to identify “categories of content that may be innocuous as a single video, but could be problematic for some teens if viewed in repetition.”

“These categories include content that compares physical features and idealises some types over others, idealises specific fitness levels or body weights, or displays social aggression in the form of non-contact fights and intimidation,” the company said in a blog post when it announced the features in November

To help teens manage their screen time, YouTube notifies them with “Take a Break reminders”. These reminders will help teens set boundaries to manage time spent online and disconnect when needed. The feature is available since 2018, and is on by default for teens users (for every 60 minutes) but will now be visually prominent in viewers’ feeds across long-form and Shorts. Beser also said that these reminders will now appear more frequently.

YouTube is also expanding crisis resource panels into a new full-page experience. When teens search for sensitive topics such as related to suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders on YouTube, a new full-page experience will help viewers pause for a moment and explore health topics.

“Viewers will more prominently see resources for third-party crisis hotlines as well as suggested prompts to steer search queries towards topics like ‘self-compassion’ or ‘grounding exercises’, the company said. This feature has also rolled out for viewers of all ages where crisis resource panels are available.

Source: Healthworld

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