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Major Win for Smart Screen Time

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Facebook and Instagram told The Telegraph newspaper earlier this month that they would ban images that promote or glamorize eating disorders, particularly photos that promote self-harm. 

The social media giant issued a statement in February saying it had consulted experts about online safety and self-harm. “First, these experts unanimously reaffirmed that Facebook should allow people to share admissions of self-harm and suicidal thoughts, but should not allow people to share content promoting it.” 

Teens turn to social media and the Internet for fun things to entertain themselves with, but they also go there when they are struggling emotionally and looking for help. Vulnerable teens are the ones I’m most concerned about; there is plenty of harmful information lurking out there. This is particularly true when it comes to eating disorders.

There are threads on Facebook and its sister platform Instagram that actually encourage girls to lose weight by fasting together, or by emulating the glamorous, stick-thin models who serve as role models. They share photos of their concave stomachs, thigh gaps, and protruding ribs. I was disturbed to learn of the phrase “Thinspiration” — taking a problematic way of thinking and turning into a positive idea — clever and sadly so dangerous.

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