Inspiration? Or thinspiration?
You can find pretty much anything you search for on the Internet. But that isn't always a good thing, especially when it comes to information about eating disorders.
Social media platforms such as Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest have all been criticized during the past year for allowing users to post pro-anorexia or "thinspo" content such as images of extremely skinny girls or tips for extreme weight loss. Now, you can add YouTube to that list.
According to the Huffington Post, new research has found that out of 140 videos about anorexia on YouTube, nearly one-third were pro-anorexia. These videos received three times the amount of positive ratings as the other videos. According to one thinspo blogger:
"[I like to post] images that show skinny, happy girls. They look so confident and we can see their bones through their skin. It's the most beautiful thing ever. I also like tips about food or how to ignore hunger."
The researchers suggest that YouTube enforce filters to remove this kind of content and prevent misinformation, but similar policies on other social media platforms have failed to detect all posts that support eating disorders.
How should social media handle thinspo content? Where do we draw the line when it comes to freedom on the Internet? Let us know in the comments below.