Tumblr announces plan to ban adult content on December 17th
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Tumblr has found itself at the center of controversy after an announcement on Monday, that adult content would no longer be allowed on their platform.
CEO Jeff D’Onofrio stated that he purpose of the policy change was to “create a place where more people would feel comfortable expressing themselves”. Further mentioning that there was no shortage of websites featuring adult content and that Tumblr would “leave it to them and focus our efforts on creating the most welcoming environment possible for our community.”
While the ban is not all encompassing, as it will still allow erotic literature and artistic nudity; adult content makes up a significant portion of site traffic with many sex workers and erotic performers utilizing the platform.
Many Tumblr users took to Twitter to voice their outrage over the change, attacking the site for not taking a harder stance on child porn and “trolls”. They weren’t alone either, as users across the internet joined in to ridicule the companies decision through various forms of discussion and parody.
Following the Monday announcement, searches for sexually suggestive terms resulted in no results. The discovery of which added to the controversy as an August policy change made violent imagery and hate speech illegal on the platform, yet national socialist and white supremacy content is easy to find.
Did a Tumblr meme pic.twitter.com/QbMLPp8Wvy
— Sydney Krampus-nek (@sydurbanek) December 3, 2018
The company has not commented on what prompted the change leading to a wide variety of theories and speculations including the recently passed Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017. S.1693 holds websites responsible for any sex trafficking or prostitution facilitated on their platforms.
The policy update follows news that Tumblr was temporarily removed from the Apple App Store after a routine audit found the platform to be hosting child pornography that had managed to evade it’s filters. Tumblr has a zero tolerance policy in regards to child exploitation and is working closely with the NCMEC to combat such abuses.