Tumblr Bans Adult Content and Users Are Furious

Tumblr, one of the oldest and largest blogging platforms on the web, has announced it will ban adult content. Starting Dec. 17, “adult content will not allowed on Tumblr, regardless of how old you are,” said a post on the Tumblr Help Center. If users find any adult content, they can report it for Tumblr, who can take down the content or ban or purge the account. Tumblr blogs that have been labeled as “explicit” will also have to abide by the new rules.

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According to the post, adult content means “photos, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content… that depicts sex acts.” If your account contains any sexual content when the ban is placed, you will receive a warning that your content has been flagged as adult. You can choose to fight the decision and attempt an appeal. “Exposed female-presenting nipples” will still be allowed “in connection with breastfeeding, birth or after-birth moments, and health-related situations, such as post-mastectomy or gender confirmation surgery,” the post said.

Written erotica, nude art sculptures and illustrations will still be allowed on Tumblr. It’s unclear at this point what exactly violates the rules, so it will be up to Tumblr’s moderation team to make those decisions.

Tumblr has always been a safe haven for risque content that may not seem appropriate for places like Facebook or Instagram. Odd fantasy fan fiction, dirty images too naughty for Deviantart and an endless stream of shipping have been crucial to the growth of the platform. Without the freedom to post racier content, many online fear that it will be the end of Tumblr, vocalizing their distaste for these changes on Twitter.

Founded in 2007, Tumblr quickly rose as a crucial outlet for those who wanted their voices to be heard. This has also brought on some complications, like purging artists who post pornographic NSFW content. With the newest official statement, Tumblr is making it clear that they do not want this sort of content on the site.

UPDATE: Tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio posted on Tumblr about the change.  “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,” D’Onofrio wrote. “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.”

If you’d like to voice your concern, contact Tumblr through Zendesk here.

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