TikTok expands mental health resources, as negative reports of Instagram’s effect on teens leak

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TikTok announced this morning that it is implementing a new strategy to educate its users about the negative mental health effects of social media. As part of these changes, TikTok will be a “wellness guide“In its security center, a letter primer Opt-in viewing screens on eating disorders, expanded search interventions, and potentially triggering searches.

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developed in collaboration with international association for suicide preventionhandjob crisis text linehandjob live for tomorrowhandjob Samaritans of Singapore, And Samaritans (UK)The new Wellbeing Guide offers more targeted advice to people using TikTok, encouraging users to consider how it might affect them to share their mental health stories on a platform that Where any post has the potential to go viral. TikTok wants users to think about why they’re sharing their experience, if they’re willing to hear their story for a wider audience, if the sharing could be harmful to them, and if they’re willing to share the stories of others in response. ready to listen.

The forum also added a brief, albeit general, memo about effects of eating disorders under the “Topics” section of the Security Center, which was developed with National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). NEDA has a long track record of collaborating with social media platforms, most recently working with Pinterest to ban ads promoting weight loss.


Already, TikTok directs users to local resources when they search for words or phrases like #suicide*, but now, the platform will also share content from creators with the intention of helping someone in need. The platform told Nerdshala that it has chosen this material after consulting independent experts. Additionally, if someone enters a search phrase that could be dangerous (e.g. TikTok offered “creepy makeup”), the content will be blurred, prompting users to opt-in to view search results. will be asked to

As TikTok reveals these changes, its competitor Instagram is facing scrutiny after The Wall Street Journal leaked documents This suggests that its parent company Facebook has uncovered its own research into the harm done by Instagram to teenage girls. Similar to Gen Z-dominated TikTok, over 40 Instagram users are 22 or fewer, and 22 million teens log into Instagram every day in the US. In an anecdote, a 19-year-old interviewed by The Wall Street Journal said that after searching Instagram for workout ideas, her Explore page was flooded with photos on how to lose weight (Instagram have guessed this before) Errors with its search function, which recommends that users search for topics such as “fasting” and “appetite reducer”). Angela Garda, director of the eating-disorders program at Johns Hopkins Hospital, told The Wall Street Journal that her patients often say they learned about dangerous weight-loss tactics through social media.

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“The question in the mind of many people is whether social media is good or bad for people. Research on this is mixed; It can be both,” Instagram wrote in a . written in blog post today.

As TikTok concurs with its advice for sharing mental health stories, social media can often be a positive resource, allowing people dealing with certain challenges to learn from others going through similar experiences. gives. So, despite the immense influence of these platforms, even real people have to think twice about what they post and how it might affect others. Even when Facebook experimented with hiding the number of “likes” on Instagram, employees said that it didn’t improve Overall user welfare. These revelations about the negative impact of social media on mental health and body image are not unprecedented, but they do generate a new pressure for these powerful platforms to think about supporting their users (or, at the very least. At least, add some new memos to their Security Center).

*If you or someone you know is suffering from depression or has thoughts of harming yourself or taking your own life, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255Provides 24/7, free, confidential support for those in distress, as well as best practices for professionals and resources to assist in prevention and crisis situations.

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