Freedom of Speech With a Twist

Self harm blogs are pulled from Tumblr

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) If you suffer from or engage in self-harmful behavior, you’re not alone. But if you like to blog about it on Tumblr, you might soon be alone. 

Starting this week, Tumblr will remove all blogs that post about or support self-harmful behavior such as cutting, anorexia, bulimia or suicide ideation. 

While Tumblr publicly boasts about its belief in free speech, they feel there is a limit. 

"Seek a therapist if you engage in self-harmful behavior"

From now on, any searches that include self-harmful keywords will be met with a public service announcement encouraging the searcher to seek medical or professional help.  Tumblr posted the following on its webpage as an example:

“Eating disorders can cause serious health problems, and at their most severe can even be life-threatening. Please contact the [resource organization] at [helpline number] or [website].”

While this might be seen as good thing to some, others who use their blog as a way to express emotions that are otherwise difficult to express are taking issue with Tumblr’s decision. 

Tumblr user Helen Walpole of London disagrees with their decision so much that she started a petition to reverse Tumblr’s decision. In her petition letter, Walpole cited many reasons why she feels she has the right to post about such subjects.  Among them, therapy.

“We simply post this content because it is an accurate representation of our own thoughts and feelings that we would not otherwise be able to express: to us it is a form of therapy,” says Walpole.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
February 29, 2012
Last Updated:
March 1, 2012