TikTok wants to end eating disorders

The social network has made some changes in its policy to respond to certain recurring criticisms, in particular about eating disorders.

TikTok has just updated its rules. Regularly accused of being harmful to the mental health of the youngest – like Facebook and Instagram – the platform has added a few changes to its usage policy, intended to promote the well-being of its users.

Eating disorders on the line

Since yesterday, the company has thus announced that it was going to clean up its content, in particular by deleting those making the promotion of certain eating disorders. Very popular among young people, these videos glorifying excessive sport and repeated fasts are already officially banned on the social network, but still continue to proliferate. So much so that during a recent congressional hearing last October, US senators urged TikTok to better protect its audience.

In an official press release published today, the company details its decision, taken “in agreement with eating disorder experts, researchers and doctors”intended to protect both users with proven EDs and those who “combat unhealthy eating habits and behaviors without having a diagnosis”.

Deadname, gendering and conversion therapies

In addition to eating disorders, TikTok also intends to clean up hateful behavior. The platform thus indicated that it would be more firm on the issues of misogyny, gendering (using the wrong pronoun to designate someone) and the malicious use of deadnames (birth name sometimes abandoned by a person transgender at the time of her transition). Videos promoting conversion therapy will also be banned.

The platform does not stop there, however, since in its press release, it also indicates that it has reviewed its policy concerning trends and challenges, particularly popular among the youngest, but with sometimes dangerous consequences, such as the Lug Nut Challenge, which consists of unbolting the wheels of a car chosen at random from the street. To dissuade Internet users from putting themselves in danger, the platform has also created a new #SafeTogether hub, accessible from the Discover tab.

In the third quarter of 2021 alone, more than 91 million videos were removed from the social network for violating permitted content, TikTok reports in a new transparency report released yesterday. This obviously seems like a lot, but it’s only 1% of the videos uploaded to the platform.

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