NEDA and Tumblr Partner to Combat Eating Disorders

    March 2, 2012
    Heather Campobello
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Tumblr has been applauded by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) for taking a stand against the promotion of eating disorders on its site. Tumblr’s Media Watchdog program has been flagging pro-anorexia/bulimia websites and directing keyword searchers of this disorder to resources for help.

Tumblr also approved a new policy banning blogs that promote the glorification of self-harm while still allowing for discussions around it. This caused some controversy as to where Tumblr would draw the line on certain blogs built by a community of depressed people. Others claimed that the policy infringed on their freedoms to discuss life choices. Tumblr V.P, Andrew McLuaghlin decided to adress these concerns by stating that “Tumblr is committed to protecting our users’ freedom of speech, even when it’s uncomfortable or controversial, [but] at the same time, we firmly believe that the active promotion or glorification of self-harm is just plain wrong. While we very much want Tumblr to be a place where those struggling with these difficult conditions can find solace, community, dialogue, and understanding, we don’t want Tumblr to be a place that hosts blogs dedicated to triggering self-harm.

NEDA has recently launched a new campaign called Proud2Bme.org that is supposed to helps U.S. teens develop a healthy sense of self-esteem and provide examples of what “real women” look like.

The spirit of this video is that women who are not 5″10 and 110 pounds are beautiful but it also serves to insult women who possess more Barbie-like physiques. By insinuating that slim bodied women are not “real” and promoting obese women as being a truer representation of the female species we are sending teens the wrong message.

Binge eating is an eating disorder too!

Do you think that NEDA has crossed a line by promoting morbidly obese women and deeming tall and thin physiques as being sickly or fake? Is this video perpetuating myths that most models suffer from eating disorders?

  • http://aHardyPerspective.tumblr.com Robert H

    I generally oppose measure that limit freedom of speech or the openness of the internet. That being said, as a Tumblr user, I have found the sheer amount of such negative content to be shocking, and sometimes quite disturbing. Seeing as Tumblr is a private company and there has been no governmental mandate forcing this issue, I do not see this as a move against freedom of speech. If a user wants to blog about such things, they are free to find another platform. There is, however, a concern that Tumblr may add more restrictions in the future (drug or adult content). This would be potentially devastating to the community and company. As it is though, I’m glad my dashboard will be a little less morbid.