Pinterest Bans 'Thinsporation' and Pro-Anorexia Content

A month ago Tumblr announced plans to police pro-ana and other self-harm sites, and now Pinterest has followed suit. The micro-blogging site, which has been growing crazy-fast, updated it's terms of use today to include the prohibition of content that "creates a risk of harm, loss, physical or mental injury, emotional distress, death, disability, disfigurement, or physical or mental illness to yourself, to any other person, or to any animal."
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Hayley Phelan
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A month ago Tumblr announced plans to police pro-ana and other self-harm sites, and now Pinterest has followed suit. The micro-blogging site, which has been growing crazy-fast, updated it's terms of use today to include the prohibition of content that "creates a risk of harm, loss, physical or mental injury, emotional distress, death, disability, disfigurement, or physical or mental illness to yourself, to any other person, or to any animal."
Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

A month ago Tumblr announced plans to police pro-ana and other self-harm sites, and now Pinterest has followed suit.

The micro-blogging site, which has been growing crazy-fast, updated its terms of use today to include the prohibition of content that "creates a risk of harm, loss, physical or mental injury, emotional distress, death, disability, disfigurement, or physical or mental illness to yourself, to any other person, or to any animal."

So in other words, all those creepy photos of jutting hip bones, emaciated legs, and scary slogans tagged #thinspo will soon be a thing of the past. And it's not a moment too soon either--Jezebel reported on the scary proliferation of thinspo imagery on Pinterest last week, noting that "the responsible thing for Pinterest to do would be to [ban pro-ana content.]" Happily, the micro-blogging site has acted swiftly to help fix the problem--though the new terms of use won't go into effect until April 6.

Of course, as with Tumblr and Facebook, the problem of actually policing such self-harm content without infringing on users' freedom of speech will be a challenge for the site. (A quick look on Tumblr, for instance, shows that pro-anorexic blogs and thinspo images are alive and well on the site). However, Pinterest's new rules are no doubt a step in the right direction.

Another update to Pinterest's terms of use is a ban on content that, "infringes any third party’s Intellectual Property Rights, privacy rights, publicity rights, or other personal or proprietary rights." Since Pinners' boards mostly consist of images and recipes created by other people, it will be interesting to see how that particular stipulation will play out. One thing is clear: The internet has long since stopped being the wild, wild West. Or at least, it's not quite as wild. And when it comes to banning content that encourages self-harm and eating disorders, that's a very good thing.