Pro anorexia dating
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If there are positive elements to social media, then censoring content without any regard for the impact of the loss of positive social connections could have a negative effect upon users’ wellbeing.It is important therefore that we truly understand the nature of online communities before introducing interventions.
The research was reviewed and approved by the Durham University Institutional Review Board.
Developers of future interventions targeting negative pro-ana content should remain aware of the need to avoid any detrimental impact on positive online support.
Online communities which potentially encourage eating disorders (ED) are a cause of public concern (Tong et al., 2013) and they have received heavy media attention over the last decade (e.g., Rojas, 2014).
Focus is placed upon comparing the content on two popular social media platforms that have been linked to disordered eating behaviors in the press, Twitter, and Tumblr (e.g., “Becoming what you don’t eat” [Twitter], The Daily Iowan, June 26, 2014, “The hunger blogs: A secret world of teenage thinspiration” [Tumblr], Huffington Post, September 2, 2012).
Whilst Twitter and Tumblr are both blogging platforms they differ in their functionality and the environment they create for users therefore allowing us to investigate whether the environment that is provided by the platform may impact upon the type of content shared by users.
Results: Three types of content (pro-ana, anti-ana, and pro-recovery) were posted on each platform.
Overall, across both platforms, extreme pro-ana posts were in the minority compared to anti-ana and pro-recovery.
Many feature information on recovery and some communities are supportive of users who decide to seek treatment (Brotsky and Giles, 2007; Csipke and Horne, 2007; Lipczynska, 2007).
Therefore it is possible that social media provides a platform through which users can find help and guidance – this is particularly important as ED sufferers rarely seek professional help (Cachelin and Striegel-Moore, 2006).
By encouraging each other to engage in associated ED behaviors, pro-communities normalize the behavior by making the user feel that it is acceptable, justifiable, and sometimes even desirable (Schroeder, 2010).
Similarly, media portrayal of celebrities with perceived ED has been liked to an online practices around ED (Yom-Tov and Boyd, 2014).
Another concern is the potential for pro-communities to glorify or romanticize ED, for example by portraying the behaviors as ‘tragically beautiful’ (Bine, 2013).