Tumblr's Ban on Porn May Dramatically Change the Site

Also, some are confused about the term 'female-presenting nipples'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2018 10:05 AM CST
The Tumblr logo.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(Newser) – Tumblr made a big move Monday, one that the Verge says will "fundamentally alter how the service is used." In short: no more porn. CEO Jeff D'Onofrio explained in a blog post that the site will no longer allow adult content or even nudity, the latter with limited exceptions such as breastfeeding images. The move comes less than a month after Apple booted Tumblr from its App Store because an audit turned up child pornography, though Tumblr says the issue goes beyond that. As the Daily Beast reports, porn stars, "cam girls," and others in the sex trade have long used the platform for publicity, and now they're worried. "It was pretty much panic from all of us," a 28-year-old sex worker tells the website. "[We're] talking about if we're going to be able to keep our blogs or if we're going to have to just abandon Tumblr and work on different platforms."

The changes are effective Dec. 17, and Tumblr's new "community guidelines" section spells them out: "Don't upload images, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples." Depictions of sex acts are barred, though written erotica is still permitted. If you're wondering about a certain phrase above, you're not alone. "What the hell are 'female-presenting nipples'?" wonders Jezebel blogger Harron Walker, who has reached out to Tumblr for clarification and is posting best guesses in the meantime. At Gizmodo, meanwhile, Charles Pulliam-Moore writes that Tumblr's explicitness has long been "a kind of haven for the imagination" for those exploring their own sexuality. "Tumblr is going to lose a significant part of its identity that turned it into [the] cultural juggernaut that it is today," he writes. (But this won't affect the platform's shoplifters.)

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