Tumblr announced earlier this month that, starting on December 17, it will be permanently banning all adult content (read: nudity and pornographic content). This is a significantly drastic change as the microblogging service has millions of users who actively post and engage with adult content and are sure to be upset at this new policy. It should also be noted that this change includes more than just pornographic content. Tumblr has for years been a hub for artists and individuals who post and are interested in content that depicts adult themes that aren’t necessarily pornographic in nature. However, certain circumstances have made it so that the company can no longer tolerate adult content of any kind. So what content will be affected by this policy and why has this change been implemented? What does “Adult Content” Mean? While most people can probably make an accurate guess as to what is meant by “adult content,” some individuals might not be clear on how this new policy will affect the microblogging platform. As stated in Tumblr’s Help Center, adult content 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.” Adult content that has already been posted to Tumblr will also be flagged and set to private so that only the individual who posted it will be able to view it.
What Content is Still Permitted? As you might expect, there are certain exceptions to this new rule. According to the Help Center, content such as “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. [And] Written content such as erotica, nudity related to political or newsworthy speech, and nudity found in art, such as sculptures and illustrations” will still be allowed. Reasoning Behind This Change While many users are sure to be upset at this new rule, the reasoning behind it is more than understandable. Recently, Tumblr was removed from the Apple App Store due to concerns about child pornography being posted to the service. Of course, these concerns cannot be taken lightly, and, due to the expansive amount of content on the site, it can be difficult for the company to monitor all of the content that is posted every day. As such, Tumblr has instituted this new rule in order to prevent future occurrences of this issue. In relation to this incident, Tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio stated, “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.” He went on to say, “Bottom line: 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.”