Socials’ weighty problem Tech giants join talks on eating disorders

This story by Jade Gailberger first appeared in The Herald Sun on 21st August 2023.

Social media giants including Meta and YouTube are vowing to tackle harmful body image content on their platforms. There are mounting concerns about the regulation of posts about eating disorders on social media in the wake of Covid-19, experts warning it is hindering Australia’s recovery.

The Herald Sun can reveal Meta will front a parliamentary roundtable in Canberra aimed at developing solutions and prevention measures to better protect young people online. YouTube, TikTok and Instagram representatives are also being urged to attend the forum, hosted by the Butterfly Foundation and Goldstein MP Zoe Daniel.

“Social media makes them (people with eating disorders) feel worse about their body so there’s a clear link,” Ms Daniel said.

“It’s a case of actually sitting down with the platforms and having that collaborative conversation to say, ‘well, what are you already doing? What more can you do?’ ”

Ms Daniel said there were weaknesses in self-regulation but social media companies did not want to be “legislated out of existence”.


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