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Susan Cowden, MS

"Thinspo" is Banned by Instagram

By May 1, 2012

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Joining the ranks of Pinterest and Tumblr, photo-sharing site Instagram has released a new policy banning pro-eating disorder photographs from being posted.  The new guidelines state that users must not post things that glorify or promote self harm:

"While Instagram is a place where people can share their lives with others through photographs, any account found encouraging or urging users to embrace anorexia, bulimia, or other eating disorders; or to cut, harm themselves, or commit suicide will result in a disabled account without warning. We believe that communication regarding these behaviors in order to create awareness, come together for support and to facilitate recovery is important, but that Instagram is not the place for active promotion or glorification of self-harm."

In addition to banning photographs containing thinspiration or 'thinspo,' they have also disabled searches for hashtags such as #thinspiration, #proanorexia and #probulimia.  Anyone searching for these hashtags will receive a result containing contact information for the National Eating Disorders Association.  Searching for hashtags related to suicide and self-harm have also been disabled and will return a result connecting the user with resources for help.

What do you think of the movement to ban thinspiration on social networking sites?  Do you think it will be helpful?

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