A New Policy Against Self-Harm Blogs:
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.
‘You can’t save people from themselves’:
This about just one of the many scourges on the internet that I talk about but this one has nothing to do with crime per se. This has to do with websites that proclaim that eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia are not diseases but ‘lifestyle choices’.
That’s right. You heard me correctly. There are people out there who actually believe that disorders like anorexia are not only good but are a viable alternative to…you know…eating.
The article sort of poses the question should pro-ana and pro-mia sites be censored. Now if you mean censored in the way that they should be outlawed by the government then no. If you mean censored in the way that webhosts like Livejournal, MySpace, and Xanga should shut them down for violating their TOS then yes.
But places like MySpace, LiveJournal, and Xanga do not want to shut these groups down. They claim that it’s free speech but we all really know what it’s about. They don’t want to alienate a part of their userbase that click on their advertisements which in turn makes them money. Never mind if a few people end up killing themselves over what they call a lifestyle choice, there’s money to be made from those skeletons.
Webhosts like MySpace and the like need to be more personally responsible instead of financially responsible. If these groups were to be shut down would it really hurt the bottom line?
If there was a pro-suicide group would the webhosts allow those? Because claiming that eating disorders are a choice is basically the same thing.
I have a question for the ladies. what do you think of this woman? Do you think her body type is obtainable and realistic? Would you do just about anything to get a body like that? If you said yes then you’re an idiot. The picture is of model Ana Carolina Reston, and she’s dead.
A 21-year-old anorexic model who weighed only 88 pounds has died of generalized infection, a hospital said. Ana Carolina Reston, who had worked in China, Turkey, Mexico and Japan for several modeling agencies, died Tuesday, according to Sao Paulo’s Servidor Publico Hospital.
The hospital said the infection that killed the 5-foot-8-inch model was caused by anorexia nervosa, a disorder characterized by an abnormal fear of becoming obese, an aversion to food and severe weight loss.
I bet she thought she could control her eating disorders too.
The Vanishing Act:
This isn’t the first time I’ve taken on the topic of pro-eating disorder websites. With the explosion of sites like MySpace, Xanga, and LiveJournal and their refusal to do anything about it, this “movement” is growing…
Faced with recrimination from the outside world, the pro-ana girls went underground. There are currently hundreds of pro-eating-disorder groups spread over all the most popular social-networking sites, including Xanga, MySpace, and Live Journal. Many require new users to submit photos to moderators to prove they’re anorexic.
The hosts see it as a free speech issue I see it as a health and welfare issue. These girls are basically purging themselves into an early grave. Would any of these hosts allow sites that tell you new and better ways to commit suicide? This is no “lifestyle choice”. It’s a disease that the social networking sites are helping to spread.
Cult-Like Lure of ‘Ana’ Attracts Anorexics:
This is sort of a follow-up to the entry I did about the scourge that are pro-anorexia websites. It’s a really good article that shows the cult-like zealotry of the pro-ana movement. I mention it because the author of the article, Martha Irvine, contacted me when she was researching for this article. She wanted to contact one of the pro-ana commenters from the original entry. I gave her the e-mail address she requested but whether or not it was a legitimate one remains to be seen. Patting myself on the back aside, this is an article that people need to see. The fact that the article states that 40% of teens with eating disorders have been to these pro-ana sites. That’s a scary statistic indeed.
No, That’s Sick: (Log in info)
I couldn’t agree more with a headline. I actually heard about this before from a fellow blogger (Joanne, where did you go?) but I kept forgetting about it. Which is a great disservice to people because it is a problem that people need to know about. Basically what the article states is that are pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia websites that encourage these dangerous eating disorders as “lifestyle choice” instead of the disease that it is. Think I’m joking? Think this is just an urban legend or some internet hoax? Think again.
I happened to find one of these sites and look what they say…
This is a pro-ana website. That means this is a place where anorexia is regarded as a lifestyle and a choice, not an illness or disorder. There are no victims here.
“Pro-ana” thus becomes short for proactive, volitional anorexia. It refers to actively embracing the concept of anorexia as a lifestyle choice rather than an illness.
There are other equally disgusting things as the “tips and tricks” section that spell out exactly how to go about encouraging eating disorders. There is also poetry that extols the “benefits” of anorexia and bulimia.
Obviously, I’m not going to provide a link but this is sick of the highest order. Unfortunately, they will escape the wrath of The Blacklist. They have covered their tracks very well. However here’s what you can do if you come across one of these sites. If it’s hosted on a free host like Geocities, Angelfire, etc…, it’s more than likely violating the TOS. Most free hosts have a link on their front page where you can report abuse. If it’s a registered domain name, most times you can get their webhost by entering their domain name at dnsstuff.com under the whois look up. Most reasonable hosts probably don’t want a site that encourages eating disorders on their servers.
Before everyone jumps all over me about free speech I’m all for free speech. But encouraging dangerous and deadly eating disorders as a lifestyle choice is beyond free speech. If someone you love had a gun held to their head and you had a chance to stop them from being shot wouldn’t you take it?
UPDATE: Ok, I’m going to do something I don’t normally do. Any more comments that are pro-anorexia or from people trying to find these pro-anorexia sites will be deleted. I am not going to contribute to people willingly engaging in dangerous and more than likely fatal behavior.