Date: July 8 2020
Summary: An overview on what is digital self harm
Keywords: ##bibliography #self #harm #online #digital #suicide #mentalhealth #archive
J. Pater and E. Mynatt, "Defining Digital Self-Harm," in Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, Portland Oregon USA, Feb. 2017, pp. 1501–1513, doi: 10.1145/2998181.2998224.
This paper aims to define what digital self-harm is.
Digital self harm: online communication and activity that leads to, supports, or exacerbates non-suicidal yet intentional harm or impairment of an individual’s physical wellbeing. It includes consuming and generating online content. Digital self-harm occurs when a person’s behaviors are negatively influenced through his or her online activities in such a manner that these online activities lead to the infliction of non-suicidal direct or indirect physical harm to oneself.
Traditionally, eating disorder treatments generally include individual and family therapy or group therapy. Interpersonal and cultural forces that sustain self-harm activities are scrutinized.
As a field, CSCW and HCI health research appears to unconsciously emphasize the positive health benefits of technology –. This unaddressed bias can have great consequences on platform design and policy and must be scrutinized.
Digital self-harm is believed to be growing at a rate that will not stop without check. 
Pro-anorexic digital self-harm example:
IF YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT, GO ON A DIET FATTY. ONE IS EITHER ANA/MIA OR NOT. IT IS A GIFT AND YOU CANNOT DECIDE TO HAVE AN EATING DISORDER. SO IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT, S-S-S-S-SORRY JUNIOR!! MOVE ON, TRY JENNY CRAIG
Two different ways the language around cutting is used:
Normalizing behavior: attempts in legitimizing activities to deal with mental health issues
Pathologizing behavior: focuses on a bodily disgust with the behavior being wrong morally.
The internet creates an environment for reinforced strengthening of behavioral issues within an affected individual through encouragement of destructive behaviors. This sort of cybernetic reinforcement mechanism could lead to the fast and serious manifestations of underlying disease symptoms.
ED websites may have contagion-like effects on individuals investigating eating disorders prior to exhibiting any commitment to a disorder.  Regarding adolescents, a concern is a healthy desire for weight-loss could lead to unintended exposure of ED content.
QUESTION: I wonder if there is a corollary definition about unintentional digital self-harm? People who are not necessarily interested in self-harm, but come into it anyways.
Zelko, Jacob. Defining Digital Self-Harm. https://jacobzelko.com/06202020205907-digital-harm. July 8 2020.
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