By: Tara Wadhwa, Director of Policy, TikTok US
At TikTok, we want every member of our community to feel comfortable and confident expressing themselves exactly as they are. Being true to yourself is not only encouraged but celebrated on our platform, and as we recognize National Eating Disorders Awareness (#NEDAwareness) Week (February 22 - 28, 2021), we're rolling out new features to encourage body inclusivity and provide support to anyone struggling with an eating disorder.
New in-app support resources
People come to TikTok to express themselves authentically and find community. We're constantly inspired by stories of our community members lifting up one another and supporting those who are affected by body image and eating disorders. To aid these conversations, we're introducing new resources to provide access to help from expert organizations directly from our app.
Starting this week, when a user searches for #edrecovery #proana or other phrases related to eating disorders, we'll provide access to the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline where they can find help, support, and information about treatment options
We'll also provide tips we developed with eating disorders experts on how to identify negative self-talk, think about one's own positive attributes and strengths, or support a friend who may be struggling.
Promoting #NEDAwareness and body inclusivity
This week we're partnering with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) to raise awareness about eating disorders and put their lifesaving resources in the hands of those in need. All week our community can join the conversation on issues related to food, exercise, and body image; how to challenge systemic biases and reflect on personal journeys using #NEDAwareness. From our Discover page, people can learn more about this year's #NEDAwareness theme – Every Body Has a Seat at the Table – as well as warning signs and symptoms of an eating disorder.
To support our community all year, we're introducing permanent public service announcements (PSAs) on hashtags like #whatieatinaday #emotionaleatingtips #bingerecovery and others aimed at driving awareness or fostering support around recovery and those affected by eating disorders. These PSAs were developed with input from NEDA.
Always striving to improve
It's important to recognize moments like #NEDAwareness Week, and that we continue this work all year, too. We aim to bring compassion and support to survivors and others who may be struggling or looking for community on our platform. We will keep working to refine our policy against content promoting or glorifying eating disorders, improve our ability to identify harmful content so that it can be quickly removed, and develop creative ways to advocate for our community. We're grateful to learn from experts and our community along the way.