TikTok in defense of adolescent mental health

TikTok a difesa della salute mentale degli adolescenti thumbnail

A few days ago theApp by TikTok announced a number of new features designed to support the Welfare mental of users. These include helpful guidance on how to interact with people who may be in trouble, and updated warning labels for sensitive content. In short, the platform has once again reiterated its interest in the safety of its members. And it did so soon after Facebook released the results of a study that raised concerns about the impact Instagram has on teen mental health. In response, therefore, TikTok ran for cover. And it has done everything to stand out from its arch competitor.

TikTok: App adds new features to support users’ mental health

“While we don’t allow content that promotes, glorifies or normalizes suicide, self-harm or eating disorders, we support people who choose to share their experiences to raise awareness, help others and find support in our community.” So the TikTok App commented on the introduction of new guidelines that help users to share their personal experiences on the platform. Available within the Safety Center, these have been drawn up with the support of industry associations.

To these informative contents is also added a guide on eating disorders reserved for teenagers, educators and health professionals, written in collaboration with the National Eating Disorders Association, the National Eating Disorder Information Center, the Butterfly Foundation and Bodywhys. But the App’s commitment to users in difficulty does not stop there. In fact, TikTok recently introduced a function that redirects all those looking for content related to these disorders to specific information resources. And the same goes for anyone looking for words or phrases containing the term #suicide. Even in this case, in fact, the user is immediately referred to support resources.

Furthermore, a few days ago the platform announced the update of the notice for sensitive content. From now on, when a user searches for a term that can return distressing content in search results, the platform shows a request to activate the view. Only by tapping the “Show results” button, then, will you be able to see them. Finally, to support users in difficulty, the App will also show content from creators who share their personal experiences related to mental well-being. “These videos will appear in search results for certain terms related to suicide or self-harm, with our community able to activate the view if they wish.” By doing so, the platform hopes to be an inspiration to its users. Especially if they are young and in difficulty.

Social and mental well-being: a difficult combination

A study conducted by Facebook researchers has clearly shown that Instagram is “harmful to a sizable percentage” of young users. And especially, for teenage girls. A statement that confirms the concerns of all those who have always supported the difficulty for young people to separate reality from the altered images shared on the platform. On the other hand, it is now well known that social networks are cause of anxiety and depression in the very young. A report from the Royal Society for Public Health, dating back to 2017, even found that Instagram is more negative platform for the mental health of adolescents. And this is already enough to understand why the project of an Instagram reserved for the Under 13s has received so much criticism.

In response, Facebook has tried to move in recent months to limit the damage. The possibility of hiding the “Likes”, for example, is one of the actions taken by the platform to try to limit the stress that Instagram causes on younger people. But, according to what this study shares, the company’s effort is still not enough. “The question on many people’s minds is whether social media is good or bad for users. Research on this is mixed; it can be both. At Instagram, we look at the benefits and risks of what we do ”. So he commented Karina Newton, head of public policy at Instagram. Adding that the App has carried out “extensive work on bullying, suicide, self-harm and eating disorders”.

Instagram teenagers

On the other hand, there are many resources in support of the youngest shared by both Instagram and Facebook. And so, even the TikTok App was somehow forced to conform to this behavior. In fact, last April, the platform was sued for the illegal collection and use of children’s data. And since that time it has done everything to try to preserve the safety of the youngest. If he will really succeed, however, we still cannot know.

Walker Ronnie is a tech writer who keeps you informed on the latest developments in the world of technology. With a keen interest in all things tech-related, Walker shares insights and updates on new gadgets, innovative advancements, and digital trends. Stay connected with Walker to stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of technology.