Came for Porn? Stay for Change.

As mindyourmind's Program Manager, Melissa cares deeply about helping those struggling with their mental health. Her weekly blog, 'Radical Transparency', helps break down barriers by sharing the inner working of the program and fielding qustions from users. She is also a passionate gamer who envisions games as a way to create a better world.

Last year, we had 850,000 pageviews on mindyourmind.ca. After doing some stats collection, it looks like quite a few of those people came here looking for porn.

We're not anti-pornography here at mindyourmind (though I highly suggest people check out feminist/ sex positive porn), but some of the things being searched were distressing for the team here. We found that in particular, it was one article on our site drawing this attention-- a story by a young woman who'd experienced violence and oppression throughout her childhood. I don't need to go into detail about what they were searching for, but it wasn't at all what the story was about. After a long conversation in the office, we decided to pull the story from the site.

And that's got me thinking-- what is the right reaction to something like that? 

It makes me think about our article on Rights and Responsibilities for Nude Pics. As Taylor says in that blog, "I’m not here to shame anyone or tell you these pictures are good or bad. While there’s nothing wrong or shameful in wanting to express your sexuality, especially when you feel like you’re in a safe, trusting relationship with someone, it’s smart to consider the implications and protect yourself by learning some facts."

There's nothing wrong with seeking out porn. The issue is when it's at the cost of someone else's safety, security and freedom. As a result, we're updating our policies, talking about reviewing everything on the site, this time by clinical experts-- but all that takes a lot of time.

In the end, the internet is what it is-- at its best and its worst. When I first started at mindyourmind, I did a thorough review of our Schizophrenia video. I read through all the posts and categorized them. And the thing that stuck by me was that for every negative post, there were two or three people who stood up and defended the story shared there. I like to believe that's true everywhere. We're a community, like any other, and we'll heal from this and grow together. 

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