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Social media accounts promote skeletal images of women

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-10/uoe-sma101617.php

Skeletal images of bodies featuring protruding bones and pencil-thin limbs are being shared and promoted on social media, and¬†University of Exeter shows that Twitter and Instagram accounts like extreme thinness by their actions on photos of others, which eventually promote likeness for others of extreme thinness.¬†The study analysed 730 images posted. It found 26% of images showed hip bones, 23% showed jutting ribs, and 22% showed protruding collarbones. And the opinion of favoring extreme thinness is a result of social contagion, according to this article. “To tackle this social contagion we need to be aware of the social media platforms being used by young people – mainly girls and young women – which is encouraging extreme weight loss. This behavior could seriously damage their psychological and physical health”.

This project is related to class because we had talked about social contagion in class. The social contagion is that people’s opinions will be affected by the opinions of others in their network. In this article, the opinions of Internet users online are greatly affected by their network: when some of their friends who prefer extreme thinness posted related photos in Instagram or Twitter, people will be affected and started to prefer extreme thinness too if they have a great proportion of friends who prefer that. When people’s mind gets changed to prefer extreme thinness, they will share related photos and affect everyone in their network. Therefore the preference spreads out like a disease as effects of social contagions, and slowly makes a lot of people who prefer extreme thinness from a small group of people.

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