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Tumblr Bans Adult Content and Upsets Users

Dave Parrack 04-12-2018

Tumblr is banning adult content from its platform. This comes after Apple pulled Tumblr from the iOS App Store when harmful images were found to have beaten Tumblr’s filtering system. Unfortunately, Tumblr has taken the nuclear option to avoid a repeat performance.


Tumblr’s Evolving Attitude to Adult Content

Since its inception, Tumblr has always hosted a certain amount of adult content. And while it has mostly turned a blind eye to anything legal, it has employed a Safe Mode and search filters to hide the adult content from people who aren’t interested in it.

Now, however, things are changing, and Tumblr is trying to remove adult content from the site entirely. The only exceptions being nudity related to health situations, nudity found in art, nudity related to newsworthy speech, and written erotica.

A Better, More Positive Tumblr?

Tumblr announced the changes in a post titled, “A better, more positive Tumblr“. In it, CEO Jeff D’Onofrio explains how “posts that contain adult content will no longer be allowed on Tumblr, and we’ve updated our Community Guidelines to reflect this policy change.”

He goes onto say, “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.” Except the people this excludes, obviously.


The people who were using Tumblr to post and view adult content are upset at this decision. And understandably so. However, as D’Onofrio suggests (and everyone else already knows), there are plenty of other places online to post and view adult content.

It’s true that Tumblr had become home for a non-mainstream audience who won’t necessarily find what they’re looking for elsewhere. But forums catering to Tumblr refugees will inevitably pop up. And Tumblr itself will be just fine without the adult content.

Tumblr Is Determined to Clean Up Its Act

This move to ban adult content is the second big policy change Tumblr has announced recently. In August 2018, Tumblr cracked down on hate speech Tumblr Finally Cracks Down on Hate Speech Tumblr is changing its community guidelines to crack down on hate speech, violent threats, and non-consensual sexual content. Read More , violent imagery, and sexual harassment. Which also upset some users who value free speech above all else.

Related topics: Internet Censorship, Tumblr.

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