On Community Guidelines
As a Tumblr naif, I have been stunned by how hard it is to avoid “thinspo” and “fitspo” content (of neither of which I was, until now, a consumer) here in the course of following other yoga and exercise writers.
Before I get to some of the differences, though, let’s note the improvement to their admitted new policy on self-harm and eating disorders (as I discussed here):
“Don’t post content that actively promotes or glorifies self-harm. This includes content that urges or encourages readers to cut or injure themselves; embrace anorexia, bulimia, or other eating disorders; or commit suicide rather than, e.g., seeking counseling or treatment, or joining together in supportive conversation with those suffering or recovering from depression or other conditions. Dialogue about these behaviors is incredibly important and online communities can be extraordinarily helpful to people struggling with these difficult conditions. We aim to sustain Tumblr as a place that facilitates awareness, support and recovery, and to remove only those blogs that cross the line into active promotion or glorification of self-harm.”
They are still going ahead with a form of censorship (at least theoretically - if you see some of the other entries in the guidelines or policy, you’ll guess they’re not particularly well enforced) but at least the emphasis has clearly shifted towards allowing discussion and general free speech while still reserving the right to take protective action on whatever it is they consider “active promotion or glorification”. And that is their right, broadly speaking, as a private company/service provider, and there is clearly a demand out there - whether paternalistic, ill-considered and potentially ineffectual or not - for taking such steps.
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