Tumblr Claimed to Be One of the Web’s Queerest Places … Then Got Told Off by Actual Queer People

Tumblr Claimed to Be One of the Web’s Queerest Places … Then Got Told Off by Actual Queer People

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Is Tumblr queer? What do queer Tumblr users think of the platform? We’re getting to the bottom of these questions.

In a recent Twitter post, Tumblr proclaimed it was “one of the queerest places on the internet.”

“How queer? Apparently, folks on Tumblr are 193% more likely to identify as LGBTQIA+ than on any other social media platform … including t.w.i.t.t.e.r. Is that you? Are you #tumblrqueer?”

This was promptly ratio’d by nearly 2,000 replies and 3,000 quote tweets by current and former queer Tumblr users telling them that, actually, Tumblr is not one of the queerest places on the internet — it’s far from it.

The platform’s decision to ban all “adult content” from the platform in 2018 was poorly handled. And while initial intentions may have been to truly create a better, safer space (before the ban, Tumblr was hosting child pornography and revenge porn), the execution was abysmal.

Is Tumblr queer? Looking at the platform’s Twitter profile, it definitely seems to think it is! But what do queer Tumblr users of past and present think?

Tumblr defined “adult content” as “photos, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content — including photos, videos, GIFs and illustrations — that depicts sex acts” and claimed that “exposed female-presenting nipples in connection with breastfeeding, birth or after-birth moments, and health-related situations, such as post-mastectomy or gender confirmation surgery” were permissible.

Yet this policy in practice clearly didn’t live up to guidelines, and queer people told Tumblr just that.

“Tumblr after your ban on ‘adult content’ you removed all of my top surgery recovery photos citing that my nipples were ‘female-presenting.’ So you took down my photos and actively misgendered me in the process. I can only say: who do you think you are,” said one (former) queer Tumblr user.

“This would be great if you didn’t purge all our queer content claiming it was NSFW when most of it wasn’t. Huge important queer blogs were nixed,” said another queer Tumblr user.

“You came all the way out here, to Twitter, to mock us in this way after forcing us to uproot our online lives, give up our following, our communities. You have done nothing to promote and protect queer creators,” said another.


Effectively driving out all of your queer Tumblr users and content creators by blanket-marking their posts as NSFW and then claiming to be one of the queerest places online a mere three years later is … low.

And there’s more.

“Except when you destroyed your LGQTB+ community and hit their visibility and income by targeting a large portion of the art on your site. But go off,” says another queer Tumblr user.

“Didn’t you guys purge a decade of historically important queer content because it was too explicit for you to make enough money?” says another queer Tumblr user.

To add insult to injury, looking at some of the content Tumblr did decide to keep is like a slap in the face:

Nipples are offensive, but Nazis aren’t. Got it, Tumblr.

Is Tumblr queer? All signs point to no. Just ask all those former queer Tumblr users.

Photo at top by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

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