Google Blogoscoped

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pro-Anorexia Blogspot Blog Shut Down in Germany

The German Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons* has put a pro anorexia blog hosted on Google’s Blogspot on the index of youth-harming media. Wikipedia explains that “Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric illness that describes an eating disorder, characterized by extreme low body weight and body image distortion, with an obsessive fear of gaining weight,” being “a complex condition that can lead to death in severe cases.” Among other things, the blog provided rule sets on how to become and stay anorexic. According to a document detailing the decision**, the blog address was “” and was run by an “apparent minor”, but right now, it shows the message “Blog has been removed ... This address is not available for new blogs.”

Searching for this blog in using the site operator, you can see the results have been censored now: you will get 0 pages listed, but a disclaimer pointing to Chilling Effects. Searching however, the blog still appears, and is mirrored in Google’s cache.

While the federal department in question claims to be concerned about the youth, due to the removal the blog’s content is now also not visible to adults – including in countries where the content may be fully protected by free speech –, and the results are also censored when disabling Google SafeSearch. However, I am not sure if the original blog owner merely rejected to put up an age verification mechanism on the blog, and went for a complete deletion by their own decision.

[Via Spreeblick.]

*The “Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien”, BPjM.

**The document is available as German PDF. It lists two different URLs for the blog, but this is likely to be a typing error.


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