In my previous post, I looked at the dangers of “thinspiration” or pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia posts on social media– particularly on Twitter.
There is some light however to be shed on the situation, because most social media outlets do not tolerate these types of damaging posts. Although some are much more effective in their patrolling than others.
Buzzfeed wrote an article on the effectiveness of various social media platform’s bans on “thinspiraton” and graded them accordingly.
The most interesting thing perhaps, is that all most none of the outlets receive a passing grade– other than Facebook. While it is undoubtedly near impossible to monitor millions of posts daily, it is disheartening to see other platforms failing so badly.
Facebook’s policy states that:
“Facebook takes threats of self-harm very seriously. We remove any promotion or encouragement of…eating disorders.”
And According to Buzzfeed, searches for the pro-ana or pro-lima hashtags actually often redirect you to anti eating disorder pages. Strangely enough, pages that do manage to slip under Facebook’s watchful eye often post pictures of fruit as “thinspiration” instead of waifish bodies with protruding collarbones.
Amy Speigel writes in the article that “While the site can’t control how people use and perceive pictures of gaunt shoulders and stark collarbones, it does an admirable job in remaining aware of, and removing, more extreme expressions of thinspiration.”
So why is it so hard for other sites to monitor these types of destructive posts? Especially when Instagram has time to mark a female nipple or toddler potty training (yes, this happened to Jesse James Decker) as obscene. It is time we demand for major social media platforms to care about and monitor posts that are toxic not only to us but to young users who cannot demand it for themselves.