Tumblr, the mainstream web’s last redoubt for niche smut, is going to clean house. The social blogging platform is banning all adult material on December 17.
Banned content includes photos, videos, and GIFs of human
genitalia, female-presenting nipples, and any media involving sex acts,
including illustrations. The exceptions include nude classical statues
and political protests that feature nudity. The new guidelines exclude
text, so erotica remains permitted. Illustrations and art that feature
nudity are still okay — so long as sex acts aren’t depicted — and so are
breast-feeding and after birth photos.
“Users have a chance to appeal flagged content”
The policy change takes effect on December 17th. From then on, any
explicit posts will be flagged and deleted by algorithms. For now,
Tumblr is emailing users who have posted adult content flagged by
algorithms and notifying that their content will soon be hidden from
view. Posts with porn content will be set to private, which will prevent
them from being reblogged or shared elsewhere in the Tumblr community.
Even the cold dead embrace of a Yahoo! acquision could not end
Tumblr, such was the power of fandom gathered there. But Yahoo never
knew what it owned in Tumblr and was indifferent to its continued
existence. The management of new Yahoo owner Verizon, however, has a
pulse. It knows what Tumblr is and it hates it. It will hack it down
until a perfectly clean advertising- and appstore-friendly traffic
That phrase Tumblr uses, “female-presenting nipples”, is darkly comic
given the context of its ultra-woke audience. They didn’t give even the
slightest thought to what people other than lawyers and appstore
gatekeepers might think of it. In that sense, it seems to have a knowing
reactionary air about it. It’s a “go fuck yourself” so perfectly aimed
at Tumblr users it’s almost impossible to believe it isn’t intentional.
Notice how the porn spam bots are not hurt by this. Their posts will likely survive because they often are within these new rules.