A day after Tumblr’s adult content ban, what’s changed?
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Tumblr announced in the beginning of this month a blanket ban on adult/NSFW/explicit content, sending shock waves to a large section of the platform’s user base. The ban finally came into force yesterday. Let’s take a look what all happened yesterday and what has changed for Tumblr and its users.
To begin with, as soon as calendar showed December 17 as the date, the log off 2018 protest went live. It involved users staying away from Tumblr for 24 hours not only to put a dent on Tumblr’s revenue, but to also make it loud and clear that users are against this blanket ban.
LOG OFF OF TUMBLR NOW! The #logoff2018 protest has begun!
— Log Off Protest (@logoffprotest) December 17, 2018
Thank you, everyone, who participated in the #logoff2018 protest. This protest was a success as Verizon's stocks fell, and we made our voices hard to Tumblr. We are letting them know we will NOT stand for a ban that targets content creators and sex workers. Stay tuned for more.❤️ pic.twitter.com/8r0VujKjdg
— Log Off Protest (@logoffprotest) December 18, 2018
Meanwhile, Tumblr itself announced the implementation of the ban through a blog post (which isn’t accessible now for reasons unknown) where-in the company emphasized on several key aspects like flagged items won’t be deleted, the platform fully recognizes its special obligation to minority communities, and some visuals of what all content is still permitted.
Screenshots of the blog post are in the following tweet:
I know some of you folks are logged off Tumblr in protest – staff put a new post up today (12/17) pic.twitter.com/1UJ7hHv77t
— surfacage (@surfacage) December 17, 2018
The visuals in question were shared in the form of a GIF. The Gizmodo team reported when they tried to share the same gif or even independent images from that gif on Tumblr, the shared image was flagged as explicit.
So if the images that Tumblr itself shared are getting flagged, it shouldn’t be surprising that there’s currently chaos among its user base for the same reason.
Some users also took to Twitter to highlight Tumblr’s misplaced priorities.
no longer on @tumblr as of today: nipples, dicks
— pony starwars (@tigersgoroooar) December 17, 2018
WELCOME TO TUMBLR 2018 EVERYONE pic.twitter.com/vmwfl41GUX
— 𝓘𝓵𝓵𝔂𝓽𝓱𝓮𝓴𝓲𝓽𝓽𝔂 💕ART RAFFLE💕 (@illythekitty) December 17, 2018
Some sex workers on Tumblr say the site's new ban on adult content is dangerous, as they'll be pushed to seek clients in person vs. online. They say Tumblr's ban deprives them of their livelihoods. pic.twitter.com/RvSRbnVkqv
— AJ+ (@ajplus) December 17, 2018
Oh, and many are of the view there’s something fishy going on with Tumblr App Store reviews.
Anyway, moving on, a very large number of users are saying the Tumblr ban had almost no impact on the porn bots problem.
— careful knives (@CarefulKnives) December 18, 2018
isn't it impressive that the first thing i see upon returning to tumblr after the log off protest is a notif about a porn bot following me your porn ban is working *so well* my dudes
— it's beginning to look a lot like bitchmas (@shakethatsalt) December 18, 2018
@tumblr the artists I follow can't post "female presenting nipples", but I STILL HAVE NEW PORN BOTS TO BLOCK.
— Alexous Marcus (@ExecutiveGay) December 18, 2018
I log back onto tumblr to see a porn bot has followed me. Right. Okay.
— Hellena Handbasket (@Velocity_Daemon) December 18, 2018
Just checked my tumblr and the last 10 new followers are porn bots lolololol
— James 🏳️🌈 (@DrJLecter) December 18, 2018
Tumblr said in their blog post that their censoring algorithm will get better with time (as more an more people appeal, the algorithm will learn what not to flag). Here’s hoping the learning process doesn’t take much time as users are already leaving Tumblr or at least, searching for alternatives.
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