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Since its launch in 2007, Tumblr has been a social media platform where just about anything goes. Looking for outlandish fan fiction about unnamed Star Wars and Harry Potter characters? You can find that. Looking for videos that wet the whistles of only those with the most outlandish fetishes? That’s on there, too. A lot of it, actually. But starting Dec. 17, that’s all changing. A Tumblr ban on all adult content will go into effect, drastically affecting its future audience and how the platform is used.
Hornet previously reported that on Nov. 16 the Tumblr app was removed from Apple‘s app store due to child porn found on its pages. The Yahoo-owned platform issued the following statement: “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.”
Following that Tumblr ban from the Apple store, those who already had Tumblr downloaded onto phones could still access it, but new downloads were precluded.
According to the new Tumblr ban, adult content is defined as “photos, videos or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content … that depicts sex acts.” That of course casts a wide net over any and all pornographic content, though Newsweek reports that “written erotica, nude art sculptures and illustrations will still be allowed.”
CEO Jeff D’Onofrio has commented on the Tumblr ban in a post entitled “A better, more positive Tumblr”:
As Tumblr continues to grow and evolve, and our understanding of our impact on our world becomes clearer, we have a responsibility to consider that impact across different age groups, demographics, cultures, and mindsets. We spent considerable time weighing the pros and cons of expression in the community that includes adult content. In doing so, it became clear that without this content we have the opportunity to create a place where more people feel comfortable expressing themselves.
Creators of current accounts that contain adult content will be receiving an email from the platform letting them know they’ve been tagged as in violation of the new Tumblr ban. Their accounts will be switched to “private mode,” meaning only the creator can see them, though they will have the option to appeal the classification.
Users will be able to export their content before the new Tumblr ban on adult content takes place, which will allow them to save the content they’ve curated. And The Verge reports that Tumblr blogs that have already been classified as “explicit” under current Tumblr rules will be allowed to remain, though they’ll be “heavily censored for all visitors” and will not show up in search results.
News of this new Tumblr ban on adult content has angered many users of the platform, who see it as a drastic reaction to the discovery of a few bad actors. One Twitter user — whose comment sums up many others’ online — remarks, “Rest in peace Tumblr, it was not nice knowing you.” Another has said, “I can’t believe Tumblr is gonna fucking die.”