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Tumblr is cleaning house by banning most NSFW content

Will somebody please think of the furries!

tumblr nsfw ban
Image: The Independent

Tumblr hasn’t had a great time of it lately, passed around like a hot potato from Yahoo to Verizon where it now resides under the Oath umbrella. Recently in the news for the iOS app being pulled from the App Store for child pornography, it appears that parent owner Verizon is now forcing Tumblr to clean up its act.

Starting December 17th, Tumblr will ban all adult content from its platform.

This is a marked departure from the permissive attitude Tumblr was known for, the same attitude that had gotten the social site in hot water with various governments.

What happens to the content?

There are many Tumblr sites that contain explicit content, all of those will be now sent notices that their posts have been flagged and that the posts will be switched to a private mode that only the account holder can view. Presumably, that gives account holders time to archive any content that they might want to keep for posterity.

Tumblr defines adult content as “primarily [including] photos, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples” (whatever those are), and any visual content that depicts sex acts.

That’s not to say that all nudity is banned, as written content such as erotica, nudity found in art, breastfeeding or health-related photos, or nudity related to political or newsworthy speech are still allowed under the new policy. No doubt Tumblr will be policing this closely.

Now what?

Tumblr has always had difficulty with turning its user base figures into actual revenue. The original CEO, David Karp, fought against allowing advertising onto the platform while he was at the helm. Yahoo’s acquisition of the microblogging site never met the promise of advertising revenue, eventually forcing Yahoo to write off almost all the value it paid for the site.

Now with Verizon at the helm, it appears that Tumblr is being whipped into shape. Last year the site introduced a “safe mode” that blocked all NSFW content to minors that got met with some raised voices in the community.

With questions over content and a lack of advertisers wanting to be associated with those questionable blogs, it was really only a matter of time before the last permissive mainstream social media outlet buckled.

Tumblr’s new CEO, Jeff D’Onofrio, said in a post that “without this content, we have the opportunity to create a place where more people feel comfortable expressing themselves.” That feels like corporate double-speak for a service that’s guiding principles were always about self-expression, but you do you.

What do you think? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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