Pro-eating disorder (pro-ED) communities on social media encourage the adoption and maintenance of disordered eating habits as acceptable alternative lifestyles rather than threats to health. In particular, the social networking site Instagram has reacted by banning searches on several pro- ED tags and issuing content advisories on others. We present the first large-scale quantitative study investigating pro-ED communities on Instagram in the aftermath of moderation - our dataset contains 2.5M posts between 2011 and 2014. We find that the pro-ED community has adopted nonstandard lexical variations of moderated tags to circumvent these restrictions. In fact, increasingly complex lexical variants have emerged over time. Communities that use lexical variants show increased participation and support of pro- ED (15-30%). Finally, the tags associated with content on these variants express more toxic, self-harm, and vulnerable content. Despite Instagram's moderation strategies, pro-ED communities are active and thriving. We discuss the effectiveness of content moderation as an intervention for communities of deviant behavior.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2016|
|Publisher||Association for Computing Machinery|
|Number of pages||13|
|State||Published - Feb 27 2016|
|Event||19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2016 - San Francisco, United States|
Duration: Feb 27 2016 → Mar 2 2016
|Name||Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW|
|Other||19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2016|
|Period||2/27/16 → 3/2/16|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 ACM.
- Eating disorder
- Lexical variation
- Social media