Tumblr porn ban: One-fifth of users have deserted site since it removed adult content

The NSFW ban includes 'any content – including photos, videos, Gifs and illustrations – that depict sex acts'

Anthony Cuthbertson
Monday 11 March 2019 16:06
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Tumblr to ban all adult content

Tumblr’s ban on pornography and adult content has led to a fifth of its users deserting the platform, figures reveal.

The ban, which came into effect on 17 December, provoked a backlash from users who claimed it would penalise sex-positive, LGBT and NSFW art communities.

Visits to the Tumblr website fell from 521 million in December to 437 million in January, according to data from web analytics firm SimilarWeb.

Tumblr’s decision to update its content policy came after the discovery of child sexual abuse imagery on its blogs.

The ban goes far beyond illegal content, however, as it covers “photos, videos, or Gifs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content – including photos, videos, Gifs and illustrations – that depict sex acts.”

Certain exceptions mean that erotic text can still be posted to Tumblr blogs, as well as nudity related to political or newsworthy speech, and nudity found in art.

In defending the ban, Tumblr said it still wanted to still be a platform for LGBTQ+ conversations.

“Tumblr will always be a place to explore your identity,” it wrote. “Tumblr has always been home to marginalized communities and always will be,” Tumblr wrote.

“We fully recognise Tumblr’s special obligation to these communities and are committed to ensuring that our new policy on adult content does not silence the vital conversations that take place here every day.”

The decision to ban adult content on Tumblr proved controversial among many users and prompted a movement known as the “log off” protest to encourage people to leave the site.

One online petition calling for the policy to be reversed receiving more than 600,000 signatures.

“Let people post porn, it’s 90 per cent of the reason anybody is on the site in the first place,” the petition states.

“If you really want a non-18+ Tumblr, start a new one with that specific goal in mind. Don’t rip down what people have spent years working on.”

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