clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Tumblr will purge most NSFW content under new guidelines

New, 65 comments

Certain exceptions — written content, illustrated nudity, and medical situations — will be made

Tumblr logo Tumblr

Tumblr will ban adult content from the platform starting Dec. 17, the company announced. This includes photos, illustrations, videos and GIFs of sexual acts, as well as full-frontal genitalia and female-presenting nipples. This change will also get rid of Tumblr’s Safe Mode, the search filter designed to purge NSFW content from a query.

There are exceptions: female-presenting nipples in breastfeeding, birth or after-birth moments, as well as health-related situations (i.e. a mastectomy) is allowed; so is nudity in non-sexual situations, such as a political act or in art or sculpture. Explicit written content, such as erotica, is still permitted as well.

When the new policy is live, explicit posts will be flagged by algorithms, and Tumblr will email creators of those posts, alerting them that the posts will be set to private, meaning that they will not be able to be seen by others or reblogged. Those who run explicit adult-oriented blogs will have a chance to export their posts before the changes take effect.

In a blog post, Tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio wrote that the guidelines will take time to implement, and that these changes were made with the overall betterment of the community in mind. That being said, the transition will be shaky, he acknowledged.

“We know there will be mistakes, but we’ve done our best to create and enforce a policy that acknowledges the breadth of expression we see in the community,” wrote D’Onofrio.

He also made it clear that users upset about this new policy are welcome to find other areas of the internet. Tumblr will instead be focused on creating “the most welcoming environment possible for our community.”

Tumblr has allowed NSFW content on its platform since the site launched in 2007. While this means users had the freedom to express themselves in all sorts of ways — be it tasteful, nude selfies, explicit fan art, or yes, pornographic videos — in recent years Tumblr’s been overwhelmed by automated porn bots. And in the last month, the site was kicked off the iOS App Store due to the presence of child pornography.

Earlier this year, under new management by Verizon’s Oath, Tumblr instilled guidelines regarding revenge porn, hate speech and the glorification of violence.