September 8, 2011 / 1:18 PM / 7 years ago

Spain wants EU call for online anorexia crack down

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain wants the European Union to crack down on social networking profiles that promote anorexia after Twitter refused the country’s request to block messages promoting eating disorders.

Health Minister Leire Pajin will raise the subject with EU health representatives at a meeting in October to seek a joint policy, the ministry said on Thursday.

“Obviously it would carry a lot more weight than if Spain does it on its own,” a ministry spokeswoman said.

“This is a problem that is not just ours but is much broader and it’s something that is spread through social networks. We have to stand together and ask Twitter and other social networks to help us to block or stop the proliferation of such profiles.”

Spain asked the Twitter social media site last week to block such profiles, but the company said that would limit freedom of speech.

“Twitter firmly believes in the importance of freedom of speech and works to guarantee that that freedom is maximized,” Twitter said in its response to the government.

The government decided to ask Twitter to regulate the sites rather than seeking a court order to shut them down, the Health Ministry spokeswoman said.

Reporting by Blanca Rodriguez; writing by Nigel Davies; editing by Elizabeth Piper

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