Culture

Oh No, Tumblr Has Banned Porn (Yes, Tumblr Still Exists, We’re Shocked Too)

Much like Tumblr itself, the adult content ban has already gone wrong.

Tumblr has banned porn and adult content in response to a child pornography problem.

Bad news for horny teens: Tumblr has banned porn. Or more specifically, Tumblr has banned “adult content”, which so far seems to be extremely broadly defined.

So yes, that 100k Severus Snape/Albus Dumbledore biker AU slash fic you were working on has been deleted. Sorry about that. It was probably for the best.

Now, don’t get us wrong, Tumblr’s decision to ban adult content comes from a really well-intentioned place. Tumblr has always been extremely tolerant of pornographic content, which led to it becoming a bit of a strange kinky wasteland for many years. Unfortunately, Tumblr was also rubbish at moderating the content that really did cross the line — last month, Apple removed the Tumblr app from the iOS store because it had failed to filter out child pornography. Not great.

In response, though, the company seems to have potentially veered too far in the other direction. While the total porn ban is scheduled to kick in from 17 December, the site appears to have started flagging content in preparation for the great cull, and it seems to have scooped up a whole lot of shit that is really not porn.

For instance, this morning a bunch of artists woke up to find out that tonnes of their posts had been flagged as adult content despite being anything but. See for example artist Kat Tsai, who found every comic she’s ever drawn featuring a girl (all of whom are fully clothed, FYI) had been flagged.

Also, while it’s possible that the below image is photoshopped (I can’t fact-check it because my workplace has rightly blocked the filthy website Tumblr dot com), it appears that Tumblr may have even flagged a post from its own staff titled “A better, more positive Tumblr”, potentially because that post mentions the words “adult content” (in the context of committing to remove adult content).

The early content flagging also seems to have swept up fanfiction and more than a few innocent pictures. Meanwhile, there’s still plenty of other highly undesirable content still freely kicking around the site.

Anyway, RIP Tumblr. I didn’t actually know the site was still up and running until today.