TikTok adds features to support users struggling with disordered eating

Social media has allowed us to connect with loved ones far away, follow current events, and engage with different organizations and activists, but it has also opened up concerns over its impact on mental health, especially for young users. TikTok is hoping to address some of the negative impacts of social media with a new partnership with the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA). 

In honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, the platform launched a new feature that aims to promote body inclusivity by raising awareness of eating disorders and offering resources to users struggling with body image issues. 

Now, when users search terms related to eating disorders, they will see a link to support resources and NEDA contact information. The advice offered on the platform was developed in conjunction with experts and focuses on “how to identify negative self-talk, think about one’s own positive attributes and strengths or support a friend who may be struggling.”

The new features will also include public service announcements on eating disorder-related hashtags to foster support for those recovering from disordered eating and discourage the glorification of disordered eating. 

This is not the first step taken by TikTok to address the issues of body dysmorphia and eating disorders the platform frequently sees. Last year, it banned advertisements for fasting apps and weight loss supplements, discontinued certain hashtags which promoted disordered eating, and placed content restrictions on posts that promote harmful body images.

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