Popular Blog Site Polices Harmful Content

Thanks to the Internet, today’s adolescents have a one-stop-shop for information of all types right at their fingertips. Websites like Wikipedia, Ask.com, About.com, etc. can tell them everything they need to know, from history to word definitions; and then there are blogs sites with information and how-to material on everything else they might be interested in.

Last week Tumblr, a blogging site popular with adolescents, posted on its staff blog a new policy about “self-harm blogs.” Tumblr defined self-harm blogs as any “blog that glorifies or promotes anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders; self-mutilation; or suicide.” Self-harm blogs can be found throughout the Internet and can usually be found when typing in phrases like, anorexia, thinspo, proana, and thinspiration, to your web browser. The blogs are created and frequented by individuals coping with some form of emotional pain, intense anger or frustration, which lead them to personal self-harm. The blogs themselves serve to promote the destructive behavior of self-harm and encourage others to continue on their own destructive paths.

Tumblr is taking a step even further by displaying public service announcements alongside search results for keywords related to self-harm, such as “proana,” “thinspo,” “thinspiration,” “purge,” “bulimia,” “anorexic,” and so on.

The language of the PSAs would be along the following lines: “Eating disorders can cause serious health problems, and at their most severe can even be life-threatening. Please contact the [resource organization] at [helpline number] or [website].”

As an online platform Tumblr took a stand against hosting what they knew to be dangerous information to the young individuals who use their service. This type of self-policing is not germane to just Tumblr. In December 2011, Facebook released a new policy on suicide prevention in reaction to a Facebook user posting a suicide note on his account. Other hosting/sharing sites have taken similar measures where it concerns child pornography. Reditt, a popular internet sharing site, has recently taken steps to self-police its content for child pornography and has banned the content all together from its site.

It is promising to know that companies like Tumblr realize their responsibility to the users of their site and are taking steps to protect them.

To read the full article this post is referencing go here

“Tumblr Revises Policy On Self-Harm Blogs, Targets ‘Thinspo’ Community”-Huffington Post