6.30 Study finds many graphic YouTube self-harm videos , The Washington Post , Feb. 21, 2011
Parents and mental health professionals should be aware that young people can access graphic videos showing cutting and other methods of self-harm on YouTube, according to Stephen Lewis, co-author of a study on the topic that was just published in the journal Pediatrics. His team found more than 5,000 YouTube videos on self-injury. Many of the videos glamorized self-injury, potentially triggering the behavior, according to Lewis. Few videos discouraged the practice. Lewis and his team have recommended that YouTube provide helpful resources or links in response to keyword searches related to self-injury. According to psychologist Tracy Knight, an associate professor at Western Illinois University who appears in a documentary-style YouTube video about cutting, the videos could potentially have one benefit: promoting discussion of self-injury. “It makes it open for social discussion…in a way that was not possible when it was secret,” said Knight.
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