Both Facebook and TikTok independently announced a new strategy to counter misinformation about eating disorders and help users.
To do this, they partnered with NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association) and provide a number of online resources.
New features on Instagram and TikTok
TikTok is rolling out two new features that aim to bring users closer to different resources. For example, when users search the platform for terms associated with eating disorders, TikTok will display the NEDA contact number and a link to expertly created support resources.
These resources are intended for both people with eating disorders and users who want to help their friends and do not know how. On the other hand, Instagram is also applying a similar dynamic.
When users search for content or hashtags related to eating disorders, Instagram will direct them to resources and content, as well as online support through NEDA, or in some countries, to local support. So first the option to display these contents will be given before directing them to the search results.
And this is just the beginning, since Facebook announced that in the coming weeks the possibility of sending direct messages to friends directly from these resources will also be added. And on the other hand, they promise to continue to seek expert advice to provide new ways to help people with eating disorders.
While these new initiatives are part of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, both social platforms have different measures to direct users to appropriate content.
For example, if you search for a term related to eating disorders on Instagram, you will see a message like “Can we help you? …” explaining that posts containing these words often promote harmful behaviors. And of course, along with a link to request help, be it from a friend, a volunteer or by accessing a number of resources.