Tumblr announces ban on all adult content from its platform following App Store removal
Tumblr, a popular microblogging and social networking website, announced that starting December 17, 2018, it would be banning all ‘adult content’ from its platform to make it “a better, more positive Tumblr” and “a safe place for creative expression, self-discovery, and a deep sense of community”.
Tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio in a blog post said, “Posts that contain adult content will no longer be allowed on Tumblr, and we’ve updated our Community Guidelines to reflect this policy change.
We recognize Tumblr is also a place to speak freely about topics like art, sex positivity, your relationships, your sexuality, and your personal journey. We want to make sure that we continue to foster this type of diversity of expression in the community, so our new policy strives to strike a balance.”
He further added, “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.”
Starting December 17, 2018, under the new policy, Tumblr will be banning all images and videos depicting sex acts, and images and videos depicting real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples. However, the announcement said that illustrations or art featuring nudity that are “artistic, educational, newsworthy, or political” are acceptable and will not necessarily be removed.
Further, existing posts that are deemed as adult content by Tumblr will be flagged, but won’t immediately be deleted from the platform. Instead, these posts will be made private until December 17. Users who have adult content posts will receive notices explaining to them how to appeal against a ban, or how to “preserve their content outside the community”.
The new policy change made by Tumblr has faced wide criticism among its community who use the platform to post and view adult content. However, D’Onofrio suggests Tumblr users who want to host unwanted explicit content to take their imagery elsewhere.
“There is no shortage of sites on the internet that feature adult content,” he said. “We will leave it to them and focus our efforts on creating the most welcoming environment possible for our community.”
D’Onofrio says the decision to purge porn from Tumblr was made after “serious thought” regarding standards in the blogging community.
Tumblr’s new policy change comes a month after the Tumblr app was removed from Apple’s iOS over illegal child pornography images.
Back then, the company posted on its help site saying the illegal images were immediately taken down when discovered.
“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,” it read. “A routine audit discovered content on our platform that had not yet been included in the industry database.”
This is the second time that Tumblr has announced a big policy change. In August 2018, Tumblr cracked down on hate speech, violent imagery, and sexual harassment upsetting those users who valued free speech.