Microblogging/social networking site Tumblr has taken a bold move that you would think would be common sense. They’ve recently taken steps to ban blogs that encourage self-harm. What is considered self-harm you ask? The methods that come immediately to mind for me and Tumblr are sites that encourage anorexia, bulimia, self-cutting, and suicide. Unfortunately, sites like that have been around as long as the internet was commercially available.
Many years ago when I was first starting out as a blogger another blogger who had suffered from eating disorders pointed out these sites to me. They claimed that anorexia and bulimia are lifestyle choices and not the disorders that they are. They would use buzzwords like Ana, Mia, and thinspiration to appeal to young girls. I was appalled at this. I thought who could honestly think that willingly engaging in these disorders is a good thing. Now that I’m an older and wiser blogger I know now that there are people out there who are willing to engage in just about any dangerous and hurtful activity and want others to join them.
Back then I tried starting a campaign to get the blogging/social networking sites of the day to ban those types of blogs. I was highly unsuccessful. Sites like LiveJournal defended the practices by claiming that those engaging in those behaviors and encouraging others to join them was a free speech issue as did the Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia communities.
So I applaud Tumblr for taking this bold step in not only trying to protect their users but others as well. To those of you crying that somehow your freedom of speech was violated have to remember that Tumblr is a private company and they can regulate the blogs on their servers as they see fit.
Lastly, those of you who engage in these practices as a lifestyle please seek professional help as you are suffering from a sickness.