Tumblr child pornography incident results in adult content ban

NOTE: For all latest, breaking news related to Tumblr adult content ban as well as its alternatives, head here.

Update (December 09):

We have stumbled upon two more platforms – Explicitr and Suffra – that are also pitching themselves as Tumblr alternatives. More info on them here.

Update (October 08):

Owl pics? Here’s how Tumblr censor bots are being fooled.

Update (December 07):

BREAKING: A secret new Tumblr alternative might be in offering. Yes, screenshots detailing some features of the new platform have been shared by someone who says they received them from an “anonymous source”. For details, head here.

Update (October 06):

Want to move Tumblr blog to another platform? Here’s how to export data.

Update (December 05):

Tumblr users are planning a 24 hour ‘log off’ protest against the company’s recently announced porn ban, but will it help? Read our latest coverage by heading here.

Update (December 05):

An uproar of sorts has broken out on social media over the use of the term “female-presenting nipples” in Tumblr’s official ‘adult content ban’ announcement. We bring you a potential reason behind the use of this term. Details here.

Update (December 04):

Tumblr’s blanket ban on adult content: Here are some of the hilarious memes we found.

Update (December 04):

Embarrassing but true: Tumblr’s algorithms flagged its own announcement as explicit/adult. Details here.

Update (December 04):

An NSFW Tumblr artist’s Change.org petition (seeking to reverse the adult content ban ) has got over 160,000 signs in 15 hours. For details, head here.

Update (December 04):

Tumblr alternatives/replacements: Newgrounds, Pillowfort, and more. For details, head here.

Original story follows:

There were already strong indications that Tumblr would do it, and the company has now made it official. Adult content is being banned by Tumblr. Yes, that’s a big decision for the company especially considering that a major chunk of the platform’s user base exists because of pornography.

Tumblr has updated its support pages, announcement feed, as well as community guidelines to officially announce this change, which goes into affect December 17 onward. We have collected important information from these sources so that you don’t have to read them over and over again. So without further ado, here are the relevant excerpts:

Starting Dec 17, adult content will not be allowed on Tumblr, regardless of how old you are

Newly uploaded content flagged as adult will no longer be allowed on Tumblr. We’ll also begin flagging and removing existing adult content with the ultimate goal of removing as much of it as we can

Adult content primarily includes 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

Examples of exceptions that are still permitted are 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. Written content such as erotica, nudity related to political or newsworthy speech, and nudity found in art, such as sculptures and illustrations, are also stuff that can be freely posted on Tumblr

We will send out email notices to members of the Tumblr community whose content has been flagged as adult. If your post has been flagged as adult, it will be reverted to a private setting viewable only by you

If you feel that we have categorized your post incorrectly, you can appeal this decision using the button on the post in question. If you are on iOS, please use the web to appeal for now

Blogs that have been either self-flagged or flagged by us as “explicit” per our old policy and before December 17, 2018 will still be overlaid with a content filter when viewing these blogs directly. Users under 18 will still not be allowed to click through to see the content of these blogs. The avatars and headers for these blogs will also be reverted to the default settings. Additionally, posts from these blogs are kept out of search results

Our new policy negates the need for Safe Mode so this feature will no longer exist

We’re removing content, not people. However, those who repeatedly and deliberately post new content that violates our updated guidelines may have their account deactivated per our Terms of Service

Why Tumblr did this?

According to the official announcement, the step was taken after the company concluded that without this kind of content, they have an opportunity to create a place where more people feel comfortable expressing themselves.

There are no shortage of sites on the internet that feature adult content. We will leave it to them and focus our efforts on creating the most welcoming environment possible for our community

However, it’s possible that Apple’s removal of the Tumblr app from its App Store played a big part in this decision. Although that happened largely because of the discovery of child pornography on Tumblr, Apple has been known for its anti-porn stance, and Tumblr’s desire to regain its lost user base by coming back to App Store may have made the company to surrender to Apple’s demands.

Is this whole process affecting innocent blogs?

It definitely seems so. Take a look at some of these tweets:

For its part, Tumblr says this can happen.

Computers are better than humans at scaling process—and we need them for that—but they’re not as good at making nuanced, contextual decisions. This is an evolving process for all of us, and we’re committed to getting this right

So all you need to do is to appeal if your post or blog gets marked as adult/explicit. You can find details on how to do that (as well all info related to Tumblr’s recent announcement here, here, and here).

PiunikaWeb is a unique initiative that mainly focuses on investigative journalism. This means we do a lot of hard work to come up with news stories that are either ‘exclusive,’ ‘breaking,’ or ‘curated’ in nature. Perhaps that’s the reason our work has been picked by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and more. Do take a tour of our website to get a feel of our work. And if you like what we do, stay connected with us on Twitter (@PiunikaWeb) and other social media channels to receive timely updates on stories we publish.

Want to work for PiunikaWeb and enjoy best-in-industry compensation & benefits? You'll be glad to know we're hiring experienced candidates.

Tags :

Dr. Aparajita Sharma

A budding entrepreneur by profession, and a psychologist by education. As a founding member of PiunikaWeb, I am nurturing this firstborn with my sharp-eyed expertise and even journalistic writing when needed.