Woman:I got pregnant because I didn't have birth control and I don't want the fetus. Can I have an abortion?
Woman:I gave birth to my child but since I wasn't expecting it, I can't afford daycare. Can I have help paying for it?
Woman:Well, why can't I have birth control?
Government:Because. Sex isn't for recreation. It's for procreation.
Woman:But it can help regulate my period and benefit me in other ways.
Man:For no reason other than for recreational sex, may I have birth control?
Government:Do you have a penis?
Man:YES, YES I DO!!
Government:WELL HOWDY, VALID CITIZEN. You can buy condoms by the dozens. Here, here's a pack of special condom for "His Pleasure." Oooh, these come in different colours and flavours. Here, try these. They have ribs on them. And this one glows in the dark!! LOL OMG DICK LIGHTSABER!!
Government:But seriously, you're a man. You can do what ever you want.
Government:Shut up, you sinning, freeloading hussy.
Tumblr will prohibit to post content that actively promotes or glorifies self-injury or self-harm and will start posting ““public service announcement”-style language whenever users search for tags that typically go along with pro-self-harm blogs.”
Some years ago I went to a little conference about this issue. I was studying psychology and I ran a tiny blog, so I was interested in the matter. An Italian blogs platform (recently closed) promoted this event in which a bunch of so-called experts were invited to give their opinions. Let’s say it was a complete failure, and the two executives of the blog-publishing service that were present admitted it was a failure, and I could see that their expectations had been dramatically disappointed. Of course none of the “experts” understood anything about what they were asking to them. One of these experts is a well known psycho-something that never misses an opportunity to show up in any talk show, saying common-sense things as if they were groundbracking truths. Another is a psychiatrist (a famous one, besides teaching in a university, he runs a professional organization and an institute for cognitive psychotherapy) that later I had the great displeasure to know because he was a promoter of “riparative therapies”, the criminal practices aimed to turn an homosexual back into a straight person. I wrote a post about this on my blog, and he came claiming I was defaming him.
It was some years ago (2007, sigh!), but those “experts” were still back in the 70’s (and maybe even further). They stated that internet is bad for people, that it reinforces maladaptive behaviors and narcissism, and that it promotes mental illness. They were (are) morons.
I remember that that blogs platform was facing the same dilemma Tumblr is facing now, censoring or let the things as they are. They were well aware that if they had decided to censore those kind of blogs, those users would have simply changed platforms.
I feel the same about the new Tumblr policy. I’m not saying that they are making the wrong decision, in fact I’m very glad they acknowledged this issue and decided to think about something to do, but I’m worried that even if their new policy could really eradicate this kind of blogs (and I’m not entirely sure it can, they say it will work searching for key words tipically associated with pro-self-harm blogs, and we all know how is simple it is to bypass this kind of filters), those users would just migrate to some other blog platform.
I haven’t a solution to this issue. I’d like to read some serious researches on the subject, but from what I saw there aren’t any.
I ask myself if this kind of blogs can actually promote something, if they can really influence other people, if a girl who is at risk for anorexia, or a boy at risk for self-harm, can really be pushed by those blogs, or if those girls and boys would find a way of expressing their problem anyway. I ask myself what is the real function of this kind of blogs for the people who write them, if besides being a way of expressing themselves and their emotional distress they are also a way of creating a bond with other people who face similar issues, a way (not an adaptive one) to feel less alone and therefore even a way to try to auto-medicate.