Stop Targeting Eating Disorders

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My name is Daniel Magson, I have recovered from bulimia, and I am the Chair of the organisation Anorexia and Bulimia Care.

Since my recovery I have started talking about my eating disorder online and through social media. And what I’ve found is shocking. So-called ‘body enhancing’ and weight loss apps are taking advantage - by targeting me by promoting ads about their dangerous products.

Companies can target adverts depending on what ‘keywords’ people use online. These companies are using this technique to deliberately target vulnerable people who speak out about their eating disorders and body image online. This doesn't have to be "bulimia" or "anorexia" (though some do allow that), it can be hundreds of words similar that help profile that vulnerable person. 

Everytime I speak out about how my eating disorder has affected me I get ads targeted at me to trigger my eating disorder. This is not only morally wrong, it’s dangerous and needs to stop.

I am calling for the UK Government to step in and ban targeting that relates to eating disorders, body image and mental health in their online advertising. 

Online advertising platforms, such as, Google Ads, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, to follow Twitter’s lead (we did this) and put governance in place to prevent advertisers deliberately or inadvertently targeting those suffering and recovering from eating disorders.

Millions of people are affected by eating disorders. Research from Anorexia and Bulimia Care shows that those experiencing an eating disorder are particularly vulnerable to messages about body image and weight and these ads can trigger inappropriate food and weight based beliefs and behaviours.

Because eating disorders carry the highest mortality rate of all mental health conditions, either through suicide or physical health complications.

We need to act now to show that we don’t tolerate any company taking advantage of us online. 

Please help me, sign and share the petition, and post about your examples! Please share your experiences and tag @danieljmagson for shares