Tumblr announces ban on all adult content and people are pissed

Enjoy that Tumblr porn while you can. The microblogging platform is banning all adult content on December 17.

“Over the past several months, and inspired by our storied past, we’ve given serious thought to who we want to be to our community moving forward and have been hard at work laying the foundation for a better Tumblr,” Tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio said in a blog post published on Monday, December 3. “We’ve realized that in order to continue to fulfill our promise and place in culture, especially as it evolves, we must change … Today, we’re taking another step by no longer allowing adult content, including explicit sexual content and nudity (with some exceptions).”

The Verge reports the ban will affect images and videos of sex acts, human genitalia, and female-presenting nipples — but it will spare, for example, images of nude classical statues and nude political protestors.

Related: Tumblr alert: Illustrated portraits of Grindr profiles

In his post, D’Onofrio said Tumblr will begin enforcing this new policy, which is outlined in the company’s updated Community Guidelines, on December 17 — with algorithms flagging and hiding adult content. Existing adult content will be automatically made private, and owners of NSFW blogs will have the chance to export their content before the ban goes into effect.

“Community members with content that is no longer permitted on Tumblr will get a heads up from us in advance and steps they can take to appeal or preserve their content outside the community if they so choose,” D’Onofrio explained wrote.

Related: Illustrating Tumblr users and celebrating the male form

Tumblr has been cracking down on adult material in recent months, hiding NSFW posts behind a “Safe Mode” wall and even banning one prominent artist who “aged up” teen characters for her gay erotic art. In November, after explicit content involving minors was discovered on the platform, the Tumblr app disappeared from the iOS App Store.

Monday’s announcement sparked immediate outcry online, particularly from those concerned about sex workers and sex-positive creators who will be adversely affected by the policy change.

But in his post, D’Onofrio said the “bottom line” is that users should post and consume adult content elsewhere. “There [is] no shortage of sites on the internet that feature adult content,” he wrote. “We will leave it to them and focus our efforts on creating the most welcoming environment possible for our community.”

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