The mood-board style layout enables people to organise their lives visually, offering a new and creative way to plan things such as weddings or redecoration projects. Family and friends are able to comment on pictures of colour schemes, themes and ideas, making it a truly social experience.
However, as with all online communities, there is an inevitable dark side to Pinterest.
Now reports show that people with eating disorders are using the site to upload and search for pictures advocating thinness – including pictures of uneaten food and particularly thin role models.
As a result, Pinterest has now blocked certain search terms, including ‘thinspo’ (short for ‘thinspiriation’) the term which describes the glorification of unhealthy body image.
Now users searching for this term will receive 0 results and a warning that says:
“Eating disorders are not lifestyle choices, they are mental disorders that if left untreated can cause serious health problems or could even be life-threatening. For treatment referrals, information, and support, you can always contact the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline.”
Pinterest is incredibly popular in the U.S with around 12 million users, compared to only 200,000 users in the UK. In a bid to reduce abuse of the site’s tools, Pinterest has recently updated its ‘acceptable use policy’ to state the ban of any user content that creates risk of ‘harm, loss, physical or mental injury’.
If you or someone you know suffers from an eating disorder, you my benefit from getting in touch with a counsellor. To find out more about how counselling can help, please visit our Eating Disorders page.
View and comment on the original Telegraph article.