Study finds graphic YouTube videos of self-harm put teens at risk of mutilation February 22, 2011
A CANADIAN medical study has found YouTube videos containing images of people injuring themselves may contribute to the normalisation of self-harm. The study, published in American medical journal Paediatrics, showed disturbing evidence videos of people injuring themselves are among the most popular on YouTube. The authors analysed the top 100 self-harm videos and found that not only were 80 per cent of them publicly available, most had been viewed more than 2 million times. Researchers from the University of Quebec and University of Guelph in Canada had little difficulty accessing information on non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) on YouTube. Searching for terms like “self injury” and “self harm” returned thousands of results. The most popular videos were educational in tone and contained explicit imagery involving cutting. Almost all of the videos received positive feedback and comments.