Tumblr announces a ban on Adult Content

It will no longer carry adult content starting in mid-December

Online Social network Tumblr has announced they will no longer be supporting any adult content as of December 17th.

The website and the network is used to share written posts by users and also picture shared by its members. Besides the individual pages shared by the many users of Tumblr, pages and groups have been formed on the site as well.

In Early December, Tumblr Chief Executive Jeff D’Onofrio posted (on Tumblr fittingly enough) that the site was going to cut adult content and not allow users to post such content, no matter the age of the user, starting December 17.

D’Onofrio posted the reasoning was to make “a better, more positive Tumblr.” but as with other big changes in social media sites, there is talk this is more related to an issue the site had regarding the Apple’s iOS App Store. The site was not available on the service and Tumblr themselves have said the reasoning for their being held off the service was related to a filter the site uses to remove illegal child pornography.

“Every image uploaded to Tumblr is scanned against an industry database of known child sexual abuse material, and images that are detected never reach the platform. A routine audit discovered content on our platform that had not yet been included in the industry database,”  Explained the site in a recent post.

However the move to remove anything the site deems as “adult content” is not very popular amongst many users of the site. Despite the ban not going into effect until December 17, content is already being flagged as “adult content” including written posts, picture, and drawn art, even if the posts were not aimed at being “adult” when they were posted. D’Onofrio himself posted this would be a problem.

“Filtering this type of content versus say, a political protest with nudity or the statue of David, is not simple at scale,” he wrote in the post. “We’re relying on automated tools to identify adult content and humans to help train and keep our systems in check. We know there will be mistakes, but we’ve done our best to create and enforce a policy that acknowledges the breadth of expression we see in the community.”

Those words are not much of a help to users who have had their content flagged and marked as Adult by the service. Users are allowed to appeal the marking and have it reviewed by an actual human person,  but even still, many users find this to be not worth their time, especially artist who created the stuff they post themselves.

Tumblr has said that “Female presenting nipples” would no longer be allowed on the site. This language itself has not gone over with many followers either. Many users have found the new rule and the language of the rule to be Misogynist. Tumblr has stated that such pictures relating to Birth, breastfeeding, mastectomies, gender affirmation surgeries, and other medical related type posts would still be allowed. to many, this is not enough.

Such changes in larger social media platforms usually doesn’t hold well with the media’s current users. Fanfiction.net, Livejournal, Patreon, Youtube, and DeviantArt had major resistance to changes in their policy. While some of those sites were still around, it still caused a mass migration of users to other sites to find alternatives.

Tumblr itself was acquired by Yahoo in 2013, but a few years later Yahoo admitted that it paid to much for the service. This change in what users are allowed to post may not help the matter any and cause another migration of users looking for a new alternative.

It will be interesting to see what kind of hit Tumblr will take over this announcement and where many of the former users will end up.

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