OSU Crush’s tweet romanticizing self-harm is dangerous and should be taken down immediately

Seriously, who thought this was a good idea???

Earlier today OSU Crush sent out a tweet romanticizing self-harm. The tweet reads, “Any girl who self harms too. Let’s be cutting buddies.”

The tweet is extremely problematic and never should have been sent out.

OSU Crush is a popular twitter account sponsored by 1870 Magazine. The account allows students to anonymously submit their crushes online. Most of the time the tweets are harmless declarations of admiration, but every now and again a joke in poor taste or a personal attack will get sent out.

Since the tweet went live, students have responded asking for the tweet to be removed and about whether the account makes any effort to censor their tweets before they get sent out.

The fact that a tweet like this slipped through the cracks calls into question whether OSU Crush has a screening process for deciding which tweets get sent out and which don’t. If they don’t, they should. And if they do, it’s worse because that means someone thought this was an acceptable, funny message to send to their 17.5k followers.

Ohio State sophomore Casey Kaiser told The Tab Ohio State, “Regardless of whether or not that tweet was a joke it’s not funny.” Kaiser believes that mental health should never be joked about, “mental health shouldn’t be glorified or romanticized. It is something serious that we need to be looking out for.”

OSU Crush’s decision to tweet about self-harm in this way is reckless. It romanticizes cutting and perpetuates the idea that it’s cool and attractive, which could potentially be very damaging to someone struggling with depression or suffering from thoughts of suicide or self-harm.

Messages glorifying and romanticizing self-harm are dangerous. A list of guidelines developed by mental health professionals to direct media outlets on how to cover suicide and self-harm advises against using sensational headlines or describing actions in graphic detail. Studies have shown these things can lead to suicide contagion, or copycat suicides.

Rachel Emmerson, an Ohio State freshman and member of Peers Reaching Out, a training program for Ohio State students and faculty designed to help the OSU community prevent suicide and raise awareness, explained why the tweet is problematic. “Tweets like the one OSU Crush sent out are so dangerous because they minimize the severity of mental illnesses and suicide,” she said.

“Having a mental illness is no laughing matter, suicide isn’t funny, and self-harm is not something you should be joking about. OSU Crush’s tweet makes it seem like it’s okay and even, since OSU Crush is known for sending messages of admiration, attractive to self-harm, which simply isn’t true.”

Emmerson isn’t the only student who feels this way. Brandon Holland, a junior at Ohio State, told The Tab Ohio State he believes mental health needs to be taken more seriously. “Whether this tweet was serious or a joke, it shouldn’t have been put out to thousands of students. Things like this can be triggering for some and a tweet almost promoting self-harm is dangerous.”

Despite student reactions, the tweet has not been removed from the account.

If you are suffering from depression or experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the line is available 24 hours a day.

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