General Question

itsjustcruel's avatar

Why are pro ana sites still around?

Asked by itsjustcruel (387points) December 4th, 2011

Im sure you all heard on the news a while back about people wanting pro self harm sites off the internet. But what about all these pro ana sites? If I search for them, I can find at least 5 on the first page. Why is everyone so against self harming sites, yet pro ana sites are so easy to find?

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11 Answers

tedibear's avatar

This is a very off-the-cuff answer, but at least in the U.S. it could become a major free speech battle.

Aethelflaed's avatar

People aren’t ok with ana/mia sites, and pro-self mutilation sites are still around.

ETA: Would you mind posting some links? I’d love to compare between pro-ana/mia sites and pro-self mutilation sites.

Mariah's avatar

Because websites can’t be taken off the internet just because people disagree with them.

nebule's avatar

It is something that perplexes me but I think it’s a refleection of how people generally think about these disorders in the wider context. I have self harmed in the past and my sister has and is suffering with anoerexia. I have always felt that the latter disorder is more acceptable because it is in part what our society tells us what to aim for…being thin. Self harming in no way is attractive to anyone I don’t think and nor is it reinforced by media to be a desirable state of being. Therefore this is reflected on the internet.

When my sister and I have had our mental states compared by family members I have always come up as the one that should be more ashamed of what I have done and my sister tends to get more sympathy and concern. It’s a strange one because at they are both ultimately mental disoders that need compassion and support.

itsjustcruel's avatar

@Aethelflaed, I know people aren’t OK with pro ana sites, I don’t really want to post links to those sites, but if you just go to Google and type pro ana websites in, there are a couple on the first page.

@Mariah, But a few years ago you could search for pro self injury sites and find loads, but after all that news stuff, many have been taken down.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@nebule There are people to whom self mutilation is attractive. I would agree that there’s a dominant media discourse that makes ana/mia more acceptable, but there are definitely people who see self mutilation as an ok option (and even more who don’t see it as a healthy option, but also don’t want it regulated so much).

@itsjustcruel So maybe some of it is just that there was a concerted effort to bring hate down upon ana/mia sites, and the owners closed them down?

nebule's avatar

@Aethelflaed yes I suppose there must be,...::-( I wonder what the psychology is behind that?

Aethelflaed's avatar

@nebule Some is that if people should be able to do what they want with their bodies (which many people say about drinking, drugs, tattoos, piericings) then that should extend to self mutilation and sometimes even suicide as well. Some is that (and I’m trying to word this delicately, because this thread isn’t marked NSFW), there’s often an “anything you want to do with a consenting partner is fine” attitude, which means that if you do x act in intimate relations, it’s totally cool – but then not cool as a solo, non-erotic act. Or similarly, if it’s in the context of a tattoo or piercing – even total body tattoos – it’s ok (or at least, “ok”), but not when it’s a solo, private act without a monetary exchange. For some it’s not so much that it’s healthy, but that it’s not much worse or any worse than most and/or all coping strategies like drinking, drugs, sex with strangers, shopping sprees, etc. Some is that involuntary commitment is itself a highly controversial issue, and often involves the denying of agency in those who are involuntarily committed, and then self mutilation is sometimes one of those things that can get a person involuntarily committed, so those who are against involuntary commitment see this as a human rights violation.

HungryGuy's avatar

Basically, yeah. It’s free speech. Even if they’re promoting something that most people consider self-harm, they can’t be shut down because of the principles of freedom of speech (which is a good thing, IMO).

likipie's avatar

It’s extremely hard to make things like this illegal. Child pornography is illegal, yet with only a few words, I could find at least ten sights on Google. It’s nearly impossible to find all websites in the same category (pro ana, pornography, etc.) and destroy them.

likipie's avatar

And unless there’s proof that these sites are harming people, there’s no way they can get rid of them because (as was previously stated) of free speech.

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