Tumblr To Police Thinspo and Other 'Self Harm' Blogs

Tumblr released a new content policy yesterday, and it's getting a lot of attention, not all of it positive. According to Tumblr's staff blog, they're going to "prohibit" blogs they deem inappropriate. This will include: These typically take the form of blogs that glorify or promote anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders; self-mutilation; or suicide. These are messages and points of view that we strongly oppose, and don’t want to be hosting. So what does this mean for Tumblrs that promote the above content?
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Tumblr released a new content policy yesterday, and it's getting a lot of attention, not all of it positive. According to Tumblr's staff blog, they're going to "prohibit" blogs they deem inappropriate. This will include: These typically take the form of blogs that glorify or promote anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders; self-mutilation; or suicide. These are messages and points of view that we strongly oppose, and don’t want to be hosting. So what does this mean for Tumblrs that promote the above content?
Photo: Vogue Italia

Photo: Vogue Italia

Tumblr released a new content policy yesterday, and it's getting a lot of attention, not all of it positive. According to Tumblr's staff blog, they're going to "prohibit" blogs they deem inappropriate. This will include:

These typically take the form of blogs that glorify or promote anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders; self-mutilation; or suicide. These are messages and points of view that we strongly oppose, and don’t want to be hosting.

So what does this mean for Tumblrs that promote the above content? First of all, after a grace period, Tumblr is going to actively prohibit content "that urges or encourages readers to cut or mutilate themselves; embrace anorexia, bulimia, or other eating disorders; or commit suicide rather than, e.g., seek counseling or treatment for depression or other disorders." Tumblr is also going to start posting public service announcement for certain flagged search words like "thinspo" and "purging."

Is this going to be difficult for Tumblr to police? One thinspo blogger who shall remain nameless posted this in response to the ban:

Put up a cautionary message in your blog and it will be fine, it’s like porn sites saying they might not be okay for people under 18; they still know randy 13yr old boys start fapping away to the big bootie bitches. They know that if they do this we are just going to find another porn site to start fapping our eating disorders at.

Which leads us to the next point--if Tumblr starts to actively ban this sort of content, readers/posters will find somewhere else to go. And right now that somewhere seems to be Pinterest. The site is hot right now, and Jezebel pointed out that a lot of this content is popping up on the pinning site. We went to check it out at Pinterest, and a search of the word "thinspo" brought up a neverending stream of boards. What we noted, though, is that a lot of images being pinned on Pinterest are coming from Tumblr. So if Tumblr figures out a way to enforce its new (still rather vague) policies, perhaps that will dry up a bit of the traffic to Pinterest.

Regardless, it's an interesting turn of events. What are your thoughts on Tumblr policing this type of content?