Tumblr announced today a plan to ban from the website blogs that actively promote self-harm, e.g., anorexia, bulimia, self-mutilation, or suicide. The new policy will likely take effect starting next week.
In a post on its staff blog, Tumblr defended the decision to set restrictions for acceptable content stating, "We are deeply committed to supporting and defending our users' freedom of speech, but we do draw some limits."
For the paranoid, the Tumblr post also included a disclaimer on joking, noting that the ban
"…is intended only to reach 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."
Can't wait to see how Tumblr users toe the line on that one.
In addition to prohibiting outright blogs that promote self-harm, the new policy will also affect searches for related tags. Searches for terms like "purging," "proana," and "thinspiration," will now prompt an automatic "PSA-style message" enumerating the dangers of eating disorders.
The Tumblr staff post did not make mention of a plan to show a similar message if users search tags related to suicide or self-mutilation.
For those keeping score, here is a list of things you can't do on the Internet, as of this week:
- Promote anorexia on Tumblr.
- Share child porn on Reddit.
- Take your eyes off these incredible before-and-after photos of Japan.