How Pinterest Is Fighting The 'Thinspo' Movement

Although photo sharing sites like Pinterest provided an ideal medium for the dark practice of “thinspo” or “thinspiration”—in which people post photos of themselves/models/actors with jutting collarbones and exposed rib cages to inspire others to become unhealthily thin—the social media sites are now taking a stand.

In May, when Business Insider explored the world of thinspo on Pinterest, this is what happened when one searched for “thinspo” on the site:

pinterest thinspo

Photo: Pinterest


Pinterest later announced that it would prohibit pins that encouraged self-abuse, which includes pro-anorexia or bulimia posts, but it was unclear how that would be achieved on the site.

Now a public health announcement appears on the screen whenever anyone searches for “thinspo” on Pinterest:

pinterest thinspo

Photo: Pinterest Screengrab

A similar message appears when searching for “thinspiration”:

Although some pictures slip by—and users will surely find new tags or ways around the ban—this is certainly better than what was coming up only two months ago.

On February 23, Tumblr announced that “when a user searches for tags like ‘anorexia,’ ‘anorexic,’ ‘bulimia,’ ‘bulimic,’ ‘thinspiration,’ ‘thinspo,’ ‘proana,’ ‘purge,’ ‘purging,’ etc., we would show ‘PSA language.” But searching for “#thinspo” in May yielded many results:

pinterest thinspo

Photo: Pinterest

When searching for “thinspo” on Tumblr today, users bizarrely get transferred to the same page that comes up when one searches “lol”:

tumblr thinspo lol

Click here to take a look inside the frightening cult of “thinspo”>

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