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The Banning of Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia sites

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posted on Apr, 4 2004 @ 11:37 PM
There has been a ban on pro-anorexia or pro-bulimia websites. Although I dont agree with what these people have to say, I certainly dont think that their websites should be banned! Its freedom of speech, people!!

This was taken from a website I found:

'ban' pro-ana? my response..
i could not sit here feeling like i do without trying to project some logic into the obviously narrow-minded 'banning ana' community.
true to form, i have replied to one post on the 'stop pro-ana forum' - the forum rules post.
here's what i wrote, i think its rather good for a 'sick bitch' myself

the forum 'rules' are in italics, my responses start with ~
im sorry, i just cant keep my mouth shut when something upsets me as much as this. sorry. i thought you ought to see what i said instead of getting it from someone else.

Anorexia and bulimia are illnesses which lead to serious health problems and even the death of the sufferer.

~ true. as are physical illnesses such as cancer, hiv etc... not forgetting the myriad of psychological illnesses such as schizophrenia, dementia & bipolar affective disorder. all of these can lead to death, either by suicide or physical dysfunction.

Sadly, to some people, it's fashionable to have an eating disorder and what is even more disturbing is the growing trend on the internet for sites which give help and advice on how to develop anorexia/bulimia.

~wrong. go to an eating disorder support forum and ask who thinks its fashionable to feel like death 24/7? which of them thinks it is glamourous to look like the skeleton in biology class? how many think that it is normal? i think you will find that the majority of sufferers would gladly get better if treatment was affordable, effective & if recovering promised as much support as stalling recovery does.
where logically, are we supposed to find emotional support for a psychological disorder when people are campaigning to silence our voices & cries for help and sticking us into some box calling us freaks because they dont understand. or is it because they dont want to understand?

Most major webspace providers delete these sites, but the people who develop them have found another place to spread their message - diary hive sites such as our very own Diaryland.

~ has a law been passed that has announced people with psychological disorders cannot keep a journal? can we not share our experiences with other sufferers such as cancer patients do?
it is upto the website host to decide if a site is moral or not, but you cannot simply state this is right & this is wrong - because sadly life is not black and white.

So what is the point of this diary?

~ what is the point of a 'normal' person journalling their thoughts day after day? why do you do it?

Well the people involved are Diaryland users who wanted to register their distaste at the fact Diaryland is currently hosting such harmful sites - and in our opinion these sites are harmful.

~ so are sites that instruct people how to make a bomb out of kitchen equipment, or how to make your own cocktail of psychotic drugs from supermarket products.
where do you want the line to be drawn exactly?

What do you plan to do about it?

~ what can be done about it? are you proposing to outlaw the freedom of speech act? if so, then you will be burning your own fingers by running this board.
how far do you want to take this?

A stop pro ana diaryring has been set up and already has quite a few people signed up to voice their support. If we can get enough people to join we'll ask Andrew to review the situation and hopefully shut down diaries and diaryrings which offer advice on how to develop an eating disorder.

~ from a psychologist's point of view - every medical textbook or guideline system states that you cannot make someone develop an eating disorder. an eating disorder develops from a certain number of key factors in the sufferers life.
i quote " biological explainations for eating disorders fall into two catergories:
genetic inheritance & biochemical dysfunction of neurotransmitters in the brain"
also "the genetic element may relate to personailty traits such as emotional instability, which make the person more susceptible to stressful life events. these could manifest in an eating disorder or, alternatively, in some other mental disorder. in many cases of anorexia and bulimia there is a family history of mood or personality disorders."
some examples of mood or personailty disorders being, schizotypal personailty disorder, borderline PD, bipolar (manic depression) and many more which are seen as a legitimate mental illness.
so i ask you - does a journal from say, a borderline sufferer detailing thier experiences and disordered thoughts encourage you to want to be borderline, because its cool?

I want to help; what can I do?
Put stop-pro-ana on your buddy list or link to us. We will also accept posts from other people - email us for details. We'd love to make this a public diary, but we can't risk abusive postings.

~ become educated. talk to us, try to understand.
you cannot silence a group because you do not agree with them. we have seen this kind of 'hatred' directed towards homosexuals or aids sufferes in the past. why do we not learn from our mistakes?

We support freedom of speech - we just don't support the idea that starving yourself or throwing your dinner up is the right way to live.

~nor is crashing a plane into the trade towers. there are bigger issues for you all to consider here, narrow mindedness is not the answer. human history proves that doesnt it?

Try living in the real world. Seriously. How often does a disclaimer stop you entering a site? If you're aware that your site could trigger someone in recovery to lapse then why the hell do you have it posted on the internet in the first place? It's called taking responsibility for your actions.

~ and how is attemptimg to crush a minority being responsible exactly?
isnt that kind of attitude what drives people to eating disorders & suicide in the first place - the ability of people NOT to listen, NOT to support, to label & judge. and be honest, isnt that what society does these days, to anything remotely 'abnormal'? who decides 'normal?

Simple - if you need your trigger pictures etc. then just lock your diary so only people you want to view it can. We're here to protect the casual browser.

~ protecting the casual browser. does that include a campaign to shut all of the hardcore porn sites on the net as well? 'just in case' an impressionable child happens to enter it? what about sites promoting homosexuality or scarification ritual - we could take this as far as you want to, even into religion. everybody objects to something dont they?

To put it crudely, stop talking nonsense. People who have recovered from eating disorders often state that their illness was triggered by pressure from society/family/friends to be thin. If you have a site which constantly harps on that you must be thin to be perfect you're only reinforcing those notions. A large number of young teenagers use diaryland and read the diaries and these are the people who are most vulnerable to these sites.

~ you forget to add the influence of a scientifically proven decline in society, the higher indications of abusive families, lack of emotional support from society & educational systems, not forgetting the rise in common disorders such as depression - proven to be caused by the decline in societies function.
you are only touching the surface here, i suggest you do some further research into psycholgical disorders relating to societies trends over the past 50 - 100 years.
again, should we not focus on correcting the environment that made these people sick, rather than silencing them because we dont 'understand' or 'agree'?

We don't want to shut down support sites and if we didn't care about people who suffered from eating disorders we wouldn't want to stop anyone else going through the pain and misery of having one.

~ i think to really stop the pain and misery groups like this need to focus on the causes, NOT the effect.
campaign for a change in society, demand the re-invention of the 'traditional' family, re-call the support and community spirit that society experienced 50 years ago; how are you ever going to help these people get well if you do not place them in a secure & safe environment? that is of course if you want to help them back to health, and not just silence their voices?

Stop the banning

By the way, does the name Sherman Austin ring a bell? An activist and anarchist webmaster, given jail time for his website. What has the world come to? :shk:

[Edited on 4-4-2004 by JustAnIllusion]

posted on Apr, 5 2004 @ 08:42 AM
For one thing, I do respect the ladies strength of conviction.

It's nice to see someone fighting openly about something they believe in with no apologies.

On the otherhand, I can not get behind the idea of censorship.

Speach is the greatest thing we have in this country because it has the ability to create action from others. You may limit or restrict information but never someone's own personal speach.

posted on Apr, 5 2004 @ 08:49 AM

On the otherhand, I can not get behind the idea of censorship.

My thoughts exactly. Once you start censoring 1 thought, all the others are at risk. It is just a shame that some people can't have any tact or sense or responsability when they have these rights.

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