Tumblr putting its values out there for everyone to see by banning self-harm blogs

It is often said that you could name a subject, an idea, a person, or even fetish and somewhere out in the great wilds of the Web you could find someone writing about it.

In the case of the microblogging site Tumblr making it incredibly easy for someone to start and maintain any type of blog about any kind of subject was their ace in the hole; and you seriously can find just about any subject being written about on the Tumblr network.

The problem is that some of those subjects are about things that can cause serious harm, as well as promote or glorify the subject, and this apparently has been bothering the team at the company to the point that they have made a major change to to their Content Policy that will take effect in the very near future.

The change is sure to raise some protest but Tumblr has decided that effective of when the new policy is implemented that Tumblr will no longer allow any blogs that glorify and promotes such things a eating disorders or self-mutilation of any kind.

From their blog post about the change:

1. Implement a new policy against pro-self-harm blogs.

Don’t post content that actively promotes or glorifies self-injury or self-harm. This includes 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. Online dialogue about these acts and conditions is incredibly important; this prohibition is intended to reach only those blogs that cross the line into active promotion or glorification. For example, joking that you need to starve yourself after Thanksgiving or that you wanted to kill yourself after a humiliating date is fine, but recommending techniques for self-starvation or self-mutilation is not.

We aim to begin implementing this policy next week. Of course, we will allow any affected blogs a grace period in which to edit or download your content.

2. Start showing PSAs on search results for related keywords.

In addition, we plan to start posting “public service announcement”-style language whenever users search for tags that typically go along with pro-self-harm blogs. For example, when a user searches for tags like “anorexia”, “anorexic”, “bulimia”, “bulimic”, “thinspiration”, “thinspo”, “proana”, “purge”, “purging”, etc., we would show PSA language like:

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].

While I know they are going to get some flack over this, especially considering their stance of free speech, but I for one am really glad to see them doing this especially since the major demographic of the Tumblr user base is the youth that these types of sites pander to.

Besides it’s a big web out there and more than room to set up shop elsewhere.

Kudos to Tumblr for this move.

via The Next Web