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Petition to take down Pro Anorexia Website

(101 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

BemusedMother Sun 17-Jan-16 17:52:13

these websites do so much damage
There is a petition to take it down but it needs 10,000 and better still 100,000 to really be taken seriously.
Any UK resident or UK citizen living overseas can sign it
So in the interests of all those who suffer directly or indirectly from eating disorder, please can as many of you sign it and share it with friends.

petition.parliament.uk/petitions/116648

At 10,000 signatures, government will respond to this petition

At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament

steakpunararemediumwelldone Sun 17-Jan-16 17:55:59

Are you asking for them to be blocked or for the UK not to host them? Or are you going to be asking for people viewing them to be prosecuted? I can see a lot of problems with all of those avenues. Could you clarify what the end game you would like is?
I agree that those sites are utterly horrifying but I am not sure this petition has an actual solution?

BemusedMother Sun 17-Jan-16 18:00:06

It's not my petition but I think it is worthwhile supporting it. Anorexia is a horrendous disease

As stated in the link:

Pro Anorexia websites make a person (often teenagers) vulnerable to eating disorders. These sites romanticise eating disorders, exchange tips and encourage eating disorders.

eating disorders have been fuelled or even triggered by these sites. Making Pro-anorexia sites a criminal offence will deter the making of these sites. These sites not only are Pro- Anorexia but ultimately pro-death.

BemusedMother Sun 17-Jan-16 18:01:14

Clearly not asking for those viewing them to be prosecuted. That's clear if you follow the link.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scaevola Sun 17-Jan-16 18:05:54

This petition makes no sense to me.

Parliament can only ban sites that are hosted in UK. Which of the sites that concern you are hosted here?

Bear in mind that any hosted in UK would simply move, and this isn't difficult.

What are you asking for, if anything, in terms of sites with user generated content?

I'm wouldn't sign this as it stands, because it won't prevent access to this material, and indeed might highlight its existence by from the very debate you are asking for.

steakpunararemediumwelldone Sun 17-Jan-16 18:06:05

Yes I know I read the link and I know what the sites are but the petition only states that it wants to make them illegal not how. There are a lot of avenues that could be taken there but for instance, making it illegal to host only means someone in the UK cannot make one, it wouldn't stop Americans and then people in the UK viewing it. Or if you are asking for them to be blocked then that is different but there are still many other ways around a block. Criminalising an anorexic for viewing would not work.

My point is I guess is that the reason it hasn't got a lot of signatures is not because of its aim but because it is a vague petition and I would not want to sign it only to find out the aim was to prosecute anyone viewing or any number of other issues.
That was why I asked for the clarification. I didn't realise it wasn't your petition though sorry.

PinkPjamas Sun 17-Jan-16 18:11:23

Going against the grain here.

As an ex-anorexic, I am not sure about this. I haven't seen every supposed 'pro ana' site but, the ones I was on back then, had strict guidelines, nobody was allowed to actively encourage other members to not eat. There was a lot of emotional support on them, too. I got the impression that eating disordered individuals who felt they had nobody, found those struggling with similar issues on such sites and it wasn't a bad thing . People were encouraged to get help. People spoke to others who understood them, many of them had nobody they felt they could talk to in real life.

I am firmly on the fence. I think part of my recovery was knowing others felt the same and I didn't want them to, friends I made on there, I tried to help them and they did me. If It's genuinely a petition about sites that try to stop people eating, period, fine. If it's about supposed 'pro ana' sites which actually are collective communities for the eating disordered, then I really am not sure a ban on those would be helpful. Perhaps could have the opposite effect.

steakpunararemediumwelldone Sun 17-Jan-16 18:16:11

See, Pink is now seeing issues I had missed. Support websites getting scooped along with worse websites and then those websites just going underground don't sound like good outcomes either.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 17-Jan-16 18:17:40

I'm sorry, but what the petition is asking is not physically possible...

BemusedMother Sun 17-Jan-16 18:21:54

The Pro Ana website - and others like it - are a race to the bottom.

There are many supportive websites - the petition is not aimed at them.

The aim is to have this discussed in Parliament. If it gets that far, then it would help. The petition doesn't dictate - and nor could it! - how Parliament would deal with it.

Mental health issues are still under funded and stigmatised.

My aim was simply to make people aware of the petition so those who wished to sign it but didn't know of it would have the chance

PinkPjamas Sun 17-Jan-16 18:22:58

My main one was 'ana friends'. It got shut down and I still years later, wonder what happened to some of its members. There was a lot of 'I wish I looked like you' s, and a lot of 'lowest calorie recipes'. The latter especially meaning that at least those who wanted to be thin, ate SOMETHING. There was 'food porn', a lot of support and talk about what had 'caused' one's disorder, a lot of general chat and fun-a 'safe' place if you like, for those who felt they were among the like-minded. But of course, underpinning that, it was a site that made it okay to be anorexic or bullimic. There were new members joining saying things such as 'I so want to be anorexic how do I do it I'm so fat', and I only ever remember those who WERE eating disordered, pointing out how horrific a condition it was and to not do it. I don't have the best memory, but I really don't remember anything encouraging people to become anorexic or eating disordered. It was a support site. IMO, if someone is eating disordered or not, a website is not going to 'make' them otherwise.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TrojanWhore Sun 17-Jan-16 18:24:36

So your petition is saying 'Parliament do something, but we have no idea what something might help'?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 17-Jan-16 18:26:32

The petition is calling for pro-ana websites to be a criminal offence confused

BemusedMother Sun 17-Jan-16 18:28:53

Crumbs such negativity.

If it gets enough signatures to be noticed then it gives air time to an illness that is more devastating than many realise.

These websites suggest ways to lose weight, ways to hide your behaviour and ideas that you would not necessarily think of independently.

So, the petition may not be ideal, it's aim unclear but if it raises the issue at a high level is that all bad?

I am amazed that there is not one supportive post - have you all visited these sites?

HappyChristmasPratcheters Sun 17-Jan-16 18:30:09

As an ex anorexic I disagree with this.

The truly supportive websites were brilliant, and the really pro-ana sites were actually quite helpful in seeing how absolutely nuts the whole thing is... and how small your world becomes.

BemusedMother Sun 17-Jan-16 18:31:10

Trojan - not my petition.

And to the others - if it's a step in the right direction then so what if it's not ideal.

Better "best effort" to at least try and address it, than to say it's not perfect so do nothing?

HappyChristmasPratcheters Sun 17-Jan-16 18:34:17

And I would also say that is a teen or someone is seeking out those sites, and trying to implement the "tips" on them - that there is already the problem there, and banning the site wont stop that.

I think that better emotional health education for both parents and children/teens would be a much better idea. With healthy self esteem and emotional self knowledge these sites have no power to hurt anyone.

HappyChristmasPratcheters Sun 17-Jan-16 18:35:45

I used to love "Something Fishy". smile Not sure if it still exists

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HappyChristmasPratcheters Sun 17-Jan-16 18:40:00

Oh yes Giraffe - sometimes eating disorders are a way of coping with the underlying major depression. And learning to live WITH your eating disorder is a good survival trait - these sites can be really helpful with that. People with EDs sometimes just need time to be be able to move on and deal with all the issues the ED is masking, and to do that you need to learn how to accept the ED and not let it kill you.

BemusedMother Sun 17-Jan-16 18:41:30

France has already taken action on these websites.

They have also taken action on models with low BMIs.

Small steps ......

BemusedMother Sun 17-Jan-16 18:42:37

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3023026/France-cracks-pro-anorexia-websites-encourage-young-women-weight-low-possible.html

Not my favourite newspaper but .....

TrojanWhore Sun 17-Jan-16 18:45:11

"Better "best effort" to at least try and address it, than to say it's not perfect so do nothing?"

I don't think that's the right comparison.

When looking at regulating the content of the Internet, I think you do need to have some idea of what you are asking for. It's not that this is 'not perfect', it's that it doesn't work on any level.

When you ask for it to be criminalised, what actions within UK do you want proscribed, and what effect will that have on the availability of this material?

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