Tumblr Exodus: Users Continue to Leave Platform in Protest over ‘Adult Content’ Ban

Tumblr bans all porn
Justin Sullivan/ Getty

Masses of Tumblr users are continuing to leave the platform in protest over the social network’s ban of “adult content” this month, made in an effort to comply with Apple’s app store regulations.

In one post, an LGBT account declared, “When Tumblr announced their ban on nudity, I went through and deleted the solid majority of my images. And there was absolutely no nudity anywhere to be found on my blog. Now they are continuing to flag my posts of shirtless men or images of men kissing.”

“This is full-scale homophobia,” the account complained, before encouraging followers to move to other platforms instead.

Many accounts leaving Tumblr also appear to be art-based, and are now unable to publish more adult-oriented art on the site without facing sanctions.

“As of Tumblr’s most recent decisions, I am moving to other websites permanently,” announced one art account. “I no longer wish to support this website… I will be moving all my work to Deviantart, Wattpad, and Quotev permanently.”

“This sight [sic] was made for adults, and I do not wish for my content to be affected by this decision,” the account continued, while another proclaimed, “Jumping Ship to greener pastures after 8 years. Turns out not even SFW [Safe For Work] artists are safe from this bollocks, and the [porn] bots have started following at a worse rate since tumblr nuked itself… I can’t put up with this anymore.”

One art account, which announced its departure, complained they didn’t “really have much of a choice,” adding, “Several of my posts have been flagged… I’m also not interested in having to monitor my posts for flagging, since I was never notified via email of any of them being flagged in the first place.”

“I really did like this site for posting art and preferred it to twitter, but hopefully something more geared towards artists will come along,” they continued. “I’m looking into migrating to pillowfort along with building my own site, but it might take awhile.”

Some users even complained that Tumblr was refusing to let them delete their accounts.

“Hi. Guess why I’m still here? It’s literally because Tumblr now refuses, blatantly so, to delete tumblr accounts. I have attempted to delete my blog since midnight of the 17th,” claimed one user. “Now I’m at the point of continued rage attempts only to be met with ‘We cannot perform this action at this time.’ @staff This is pathetic. [You] are so scared of losing revenue that you just arent letting us go. This is petty and frankly insulting.”

The user concluded their post begging Tumblr, “LET. Me. LEAVE!” while others replied claiming to have the same problem.

Tumblr, which has dropped down by ten positions on Alexa over the last three months, announced its ban on “adult content” in early December.

The decision was made in response to problems with “child sexual exploitation” on the platform, and instead of investing resources into combating pedophilia, Tumblr opted for a blanket adult content ban. The decision was a direct response to Apple blacklisting Tumblr’s app from the Iphone app store.

In a blog post, Tumblr announced, “Starting Dec 17, adult content will not be allowed on Tumblr, regardless of how old you are.”

“Adult content primarily includes photos, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content—including photos, videos, GIFs and illustrations—that depicts sex acts,” the company explained, adding that “exposed female-presenting nipples in connection with breastfeeding, birth or after-birth moments, and health-related situations, such as post-mastectomy or gender confirmation surgery,” will be exempt from the ban.

Tumblr also claimed that erotic writing, “nudity related to political or newsworthy speech, and nudity found in art, such as sculptures and illustrations,” would be exempt from the ban, however, the exodus of artists from the platform highlights the problems with Tumblr’s censorship system.

Following news of the ban, Tumblr was mocked by users, who pointed out that the platform was used by many people solely due to its relaxed rules on adult content.

“Tumblr banning porn is like KFC banning chicken,” joked one Twitter user, while another asked, “There’s stuff on Tumblr that isn’t porn?”

A pre-ban study revealed that nearly half of Tumblr users saw pornography while browsing the social network.

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington, or like his page at Facebook.

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