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Instagram bans "thynspo" hashtags, commits to cracking down on pro-Ana content

thin girl.jpg

Facebook-owned Instagram has come under fire in recent months after being accused of allowing pro-anorexia content to run rampant on the mobile app.

While search terms like "thinspo" and "proanorexia" have already been shut down by the picture-sharing app, the company also banned the hashtag #thynspo and others with similar spelling over the weekend.

"Thynspo" alone was a tag associated with more than 100,000 images — mostly depicting rail-thin young girls or "inspirational" quotes about not eating, like "hunger hurts, but starving works."

After a widespread ban of pro-ana search terms in 2012, the company removed more than 30,000 images. The new crackdown brings with it concerns that the company will be able to effectively censor "thinspo" content, but a spokesperson from Instagram says the company will continue to monitor for inappropriate photos.

"Any account or hashtag found to be encouraging eating disorders is in direct violation of Instagram community guidelines and will be disabled," a spokeswoman for the company said.

After social media sites like Pinterest and Tumblr made a move toward banning pro-ana content, Internet users have gravitated more toward Instagram, says Christine Morgan, CEO of eating disorder charity the Butterfly Foundation.

"We are pleased that Instagram is true to its policy and removing these insidious hashtags that group damaging images," Morgan told

Instagram's official policy states that the app is "not the place for promotion or glorification of self-harm."

Source: Perth Now