Potential Effects of Censorship on the Pro-Anorexia Tumblr Blogging Community
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAnorexic individuals have long been creating their own support communities to cope with the psychological distress of living with an eating disorder. This behavior has transferred to online platforms such as Tumblr. In these digital spaces exists pro-anorexia blogging, a fluid group of users who post about their experiences living with anorexia while interacting with other bloggers to access information that appears to be supportive of anorexic behaviors. Pro-ana bloggers form not only a community, but an information community that is targeted by heavy forms of stigmatization. Due to external evaluation that deems their blogging content controversial or illicit, this community has been subjected to censorship, sometimes in the form of criminalization. This study focuses on how the heavy stigmatization and censorship pro-ana communities face affects its members. This goal is achieved through a literature review integrated with original ethnographic observations. Censorship may actually harm this community rather than help it, as it has it been shown that pro-anorexia users migrate or become more insulated, and thus more inaccessible and alienated. Moving forward, it is important for scholars to reframe how they approach these communities, especially by centering the voices of pro-ana bloggers.
Degree ProgramHonors College