Tumblr will ban all pornography from its service this month, in a move that will alter how the social network is used and shows an increased desire by major media companies to restrict which content appears on their websites. Unlike most major websites, the microblogging outlet has always had a tolerant attitude to legal adult material since it was founded ingaining a reputation as a safe haven for adult-themed artists, sex workers and pornographers. As a result adult material has flooded the service, where it sits alongside other fandoms for everything from Harry Potter to anime.
And finally, all of these things come together to show just how many ways platforms and tech companies can get in between users and their freedom of expression. He further explains:. We want to make sure that we continue to foster this type of diversity of expression in the community, so our new policy strives to strike a balance.
Then-CEO Marissa Mayer quickly moved to quell those concernsand sexually explicit content has indeed thrived on Tumblr since the acquisition, even after it was initially made harder to find inthen easier again last year. In a post announcing the policy change on the Tumblr Staff pageCEO Jeff D'Onofrio formerly Tumblr's President and COO, promoted to CEO after founder David Karp's exit in does not shy from mentioning the issue of child pornography, but only to insist that the new restrictions on adult content aren't a response to the proliferation of unlawful content:. There's no doubting that Tumblr wants the platform to be free of child pornography, but considering the timing it's hard not to see this policy change either as Tumblr throwing in the towel on filtering out unlawful explicit content not a simple battle to fight by any means by resorting to broader algorithmic and human moderation methods to cull all explicit content, or as Tumblr leveraging its child pornography crisis to ban other explicit content for reasons it would rather not commit to publicly for branding reasons.
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That all changed in Novemberwhen Apple removed Tumblr from its App Store after finding that child pornography had slipped onto the site. The ban prohibited not just hardcore porn, but even the humble female nipple. Imagery that just barely hides private parts seems to still be allowed.
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In the last 48 hours, social media was abuzz with talks about adult websites. Users from Reddit, Twitter and other leading social media platforms had been complaining that they are not able to open their favorite adult websites. At the time of writing, only Reliance Jio had implemented this order, and has already banned all adult websites.
Oath, the Verizon subsidiary that owns the Yahoo and AOL digital media brands, has announced that as of December 17, all adult content will be banned from the Tumblr blogging site. Any still or moving images displaying real-life human genitals or female nipples and any content—even drawn or computer-generated artwork—depicting any sexual acts will be prohibited. Genitals and female nipples will only be permitted within the context of breastfeeding, childbirth, and in health-related subjects such as gender confirmation surgery.