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Pro-Anorexia Section in DMOZ

Discussion in 'ODP / DMOZ' started by Sharpseo, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. #1
    http://dmoz.org/Society/Issues/Health/Body_Image/Pro-Anorexia/

    This is disturbing to me. I'm all for free speech, but that doesn't mean that an entity like DMOZ has to have a pro-anorexia section in my opinion.

    Here's one of the descriptions "Thinspiration, tips, tricks, poetry, pictures, bracelets, forum, and chat." Thinspiration? THAT is scary. Giving these people DMOZ listing makes their sites easier to find on the web, not a good thing in my opinion.

    One of my friends' wife just had to be taken to the hospital, severe anemia (low iron in blood) caused by anorexia. She had always been small, but people had definitely noticed she was way too skinny. They had to pump 3 units of blood into her immediately.

    Her hair was falling out, entire body functioning poorly. She probably could have died if it went on much longer.
    SEMrush
    Eating disorders are a major problem in this country, girls already have enough body issues.

    It's also interesting that the first site currently has this message on the index :

     
    Sharpseo, Sep 16, 2005 IP
    SEMrush
  2. subseo

    subseo Guest

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    #2
    That's almost like listing websites with how-to on suicide. My friend had that, still suffers, and going too deep into those troubles means deep scars on soul and body for the rest of the life for many of sufferers (not speaking about those unfortunate who died because of anorexia). IMHO such section has nothing to do in any ethical directory.
     
    subseo, Sep 16, 2005 IP
  3. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #3
    The problem is where do you draw the line on ethics? Do you really want editors to start making ethic decisions for you? I think ODP should be nothing more than a method to disseminate information... and let the end user decide what they want (or don't want) to look at. I agree that pro-eating disorder sites are pretty stupid, but at the same time, I don't really want editors deciding FOR me what I should be looking at and what I shouldn't be.

    BTW, ODP also has an "Adult" section... http://dmoz.org/Adult/ :)
     
    digitalpoint, Sep 16, 2005 IP
  4. Sharpseo

    Sharpseo Peon

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    #4
    Adult section doesn't offend me at all ;) I see your point though, lots of people are probably more offended by that than by pro-eating disorder sites. Offensive crud is in the eye of the beholder.

    I definitely agree with your sentiment. However, since the directory has significant influence on web search, it seems like they would try to not promote sites that ANY doctor or reasonable individual would agree are potentially dangerous and harmful to people who read them.

    Would they publish a site that gives instructions on how to build bombs, C4, etc? I realize it's a pretty big difference, but those anorexia sites might actually be more likely to contribute to the death of someone than a site that tells you how to make a pipe bomb. I hate to get this soap-boxy, oh well, too late.
     
    Sharpseo, Sep 16, 2005 IP
  5. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #5
    I'm right there with you about the dangers of pro-anorexia sites... I just wouldn't want editors making ethics decisions for me. You would have chaos in religious sections where an editor deems all religions except his unethical. :)
     
    digitalpoint, Sep 16, 2005 IP
  6. macdesign

    macdesign Peon

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    #6
    Did you not read the category description?

    http://dmoz.org/Society/Issues/Health/Body_Image/Pro-Anorexia/desc.html

    Please note that ODP is a web directory. By listing these sites, ODP does not condone this point of view.

    The presence of this category helps the parents, care-givers and researchers much more than the anorexics. I'm sure anorexics don't need DMOZ to help find these sites. I would presume that pro-anorexic sites are not illegal, if they were, they would not be listed.

    However the category does need cleaning up - there are a lot of ED-support sites listed there and those are not proana sites.
     
    macdesign, Sep 16, 2005 IP
  7. Roman

    Roman Buffalo Tamer™

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    #7
    You are right about the sites being listed, they do have that right, I however find the creation of the catagory in bad taste.
     
    Roman, Sep 16, 2005 IP
  8. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #8
    If it was up to me, I would WANT to create a special category for them so they didn't pollute "normal" categories. It was the same thinking that spun the link exchange and link sales forum here into it's own sub-forum. I don't condone either practice, and at least with them in their own sub-forum, I only have to look at them if I *want* to. :)
     
    digitalpoint, Sep 16, 2005 IP
  9. fryman

    fryman Kiss my rep

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    #9
    Can't you move the introductions forum to a sub-sub-sub forum? :D

    I just hate that one
     
    fryman, Sep 16, 2005 IP
  10. Sharpseo

    Sharpseo Peon

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    #10
    I disagree. The presence of the category gives these sites the opportunity to get high quality links which ensure them decent placement in search engines. I imagine it would be hard for them to get quality, high pR links in other ways.

    Here's some snippets from one expert talking about such pro-eating-disorder sites. It's pretty interesting stuff.

    More info:

    http://preteenagerstoday.com/resources/articles/fataltrend.htm

    I'm a big fan of DMOZ, but I don't think this category should exist.
     
    Sharpseo, Sep 16, 2005 IP
  11. Joe Blow

    Joe Blow Well-Known Member

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    #11
    So you'd be okay with a pro-terrorism section in DMOZ with how-to terrorism sites?

    Just wondering.
     
    Joe Blow, Sep 16, 2005 IP
  12. Birdie

    Birdie Peon

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    #12
    They would be illegal wouldn't they?
     
    Birdie, Sep 16, 2005 IP
  13. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #13
    I wouldn't read it myself, but it wouldn't bother me (might even make some interesting reading). I would rather have ODP include the categories I don't care about than exclude everything that anyone might have a problem with.
     
    digitalpoint, Sep 16, 2005 IP
  14. Joe Blow

    Joe Blow Well-Known Member

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    #14
    I don't know, would they?

    I guess I was just making the point that I think organisations like DMOZ have responsibilities when it comes to public safety and pro-anorexia sites are not healthy or responsible. Nor are pro-heroin sites or pro-chronic obesity sites.
     
    Joe Blow, Sep 16, 2005 IP
  15. Joe Blow

    Joe Blow Well-Known Member

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    #15
    Fair enough... at least you're consistent. :)
     
    Joe Blow, Sep 16, 2005 IP
  16. Sharpseo

    Sharpseo Peon

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    #16
    I think Pro-Terrorism sites would be illegal, especially under post 9/11 legislation.

    However, should dmoz list sites that tell you how to make bombs?

    They only list one that I could find listed is the anarchist's cookbook. I remember reading it online when I was a teenager like 12 years ago. It contains recipes for bombs (largely believed to be inaccurate and extremely dangerous), misc counter-culture/anarchist stuff.

    However, there are undoubtedly hundreds of sites out there on how to make drugs and bombs. Only this one makes the cut for dmoz? Should there be a pro-anarchy section for them on DMOZ?

    This is also an interesting case because the original author of the Anarchist's Cookbook now wishes he never published it. He was 19 growing up in the 60s and says it was a stupid rebillious act. More info:

    http://archive.salon.com/tech/log/2000/09/18/anarchy/
     
    Sharpseo, Sep 16, 2005 IP
  17. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #17
    ODP has to comply by the laws of which country/countries?

    [OT]Obviously they have American owners but what about the laws of other countries?

    Another way to look at it is that by exposing and categorising those sites concerned professionals are able to keep up with the current feeling amongst sufferers.
     
    sarahk, Sep 16, 2005 IP
  18. Blogmaster

    Blogmaster Blood Type Dating Affiliate Manager

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    #18
    It's one of those cases where no one really takes special notice unless something might happen. Let's say there was a DMOZ section about "The best ways to commit suicide".

    Well, no one would take it too seriously, but if someone was to actually do it following instructions from a site listed and the parents suing DMOZ, then it would become illegal for DMOZ to do something like that, right?

    It's easy for anyone healthy to say this is ok, but the truth is that a lot of people out there are fragil enough to where reading a site like that could possibly become harmful.


    I am against censorship as well, but my question is this: if there is no real purpose for a section like that one, what would be the motivation behind having it.

    Once again, it's hard to put "regular" DMOZ editors on the spot, the ones who should answer that would be the ones who have started the category or are editing it.
     
    Blogmaster, Sep 17, 2005 IP
  19. macdesign

    macdesign Peon

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    #19
    Editors cannot decide legal issues. If you feel it's illegal then you might want to read http://dmoz.org/guidelines/include.html#illegal and make a complaint to AOL/Time Warner/Netscape Communications Corporation.

    If it's just in bad taste or bad jusgement to list them, then there is not much to be done, there are a large number of categories that offend me, and I would remove. But nobody forces me to review sites in those categories.

    You can make the case for many categories that someone could go to a site listed there and as a result end up dead. Someone could go to a modelling agency that in reality was run by a serial killer. Someone could follow medical advice that kills them. Someone could join a religion, get depressed and comitt suicide.

    For example, almost any ODP category that points to alternate medicine could be objected to.
     
    macdesign, Sep 18, 2005 IP
    minstrel likes this.
  20. minstrel

    minstrel Illustrious Member

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    #20
    Excellent post, macdesign. You make some good points. If ODP cared at all about my opinion, there are a large number of categories that would be eliminated. On the other hand, even though I am not a big proponent of alternative medicine and on my own site have numerous bits of information warning about the dangers, I also include links to sites with opposing viewpoints which also include information about alternative medicines. I suppose in the end it is about informed choice rather than the promotion of ignorance. On the other hand, I would hope that ODP/DMOZ at the very least provides a balanced selection in such contentious categories, e.g., sites about the dangers and adverse consquences of anorexia to counter any pro-anorexia sites they might list.

    I assume that would be left up to the discretion of the editors of such categories rather than an explicit ODP/DMOZ policy, though -- that makes me feel less than confident, to be truthful.
     
    minstrel, Sep 18, 2005 IP