Policy Contributions

For consultancy and similar enquiries, please contact me at y [dot] gerrard [at] sheffield [dot] ac [dot] uk, or DM me on Twitter @ysabelgerrard. I have consulted for a range of institutions and share my contributions to some of them below:

UK Government

  • Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee (UK Parliament): In March 2021, the DCMS Committee launched an inquiry to examine the power of influencers on social media, how influencer culture operates, and the absence of regulation on the promotion of products or services, aside from the existing policies of individual platforms.  I was invited to give oral evidence on issues around family/child influencers and how children consume influencer content. A video of the session can be found here.
  • House of Lords Select Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies: In June 2019, the UK Government’s House of Lords appointed the Select Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies to investigate the effects of digital technologies on democracy. I was invited to give evidence on the moderation of online public debate. My written statement can be found here.
  • Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI): My research was used to advise a government report and recommendations about Online Targeting. The final copy of the report can be found here.

The Facebook Company

I currently sit on The Facebook Company’s Suicide and Self-Injury (SSI) Advisory Board alongside practitioners, policy-makers, health workers, academics, activists, and other experts, mainly advising on Facebook and Instagram’s policies on eating disorder content. I have held this role since March 2019. One of the biggest policy changes we worked on was the restriction of certain diet/weight loss and cosmetic procedure posts on Instagram and Facebook. This policy was rolled out on 18th September 2019 and some of the press coverage of my involvement can be found here:


I have also consulted for Tumblr, participating in the following activities:

  • Co-authoring the company’s #MentalHealthMonth eating disorder materials (May 2019)
  • Delivering an invited Q&A session about the platform’s content moderation policies (January 2019)