Since its founding in 2007, Tumblr has always been a place for wide open, creative self-expression at the heart of community and culture. To borrow from our founder David Karp, we’re proud to have inspired a generation of artists, writers, creators, curators, and crusaders to redefine our culture and to help empower individuality.
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. We’ve realized that in order to continue to fulfill our promise and place in culture, especially as it evolves, we must change. Some of that change began with fostering more constructive dialogue among our community members. Today, we’re taking another step by no longer allowing adult content, including explicit sexual content and nudity (with some exceptions).
Let’s first be unequivocal about something that should not be confused with today’s policy change: posting anything that is harmful to minors, including child pornography, is abhorrent and has no place in our community. We’ve always had and always will have a zero tolerance policy for this type of content. To this end, we continuously invest in the enforcement of this policy, including industry-standard machine monitoring, a growing team of human moderators, and user tools that make it easy to report abuse. We also closely partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Internet Watch Foundation, two invaluable organizations at the forefront of protecting our children from abuse, and through these partnerships we report violations of this policy to law enforcement authorities. We can never prevent all bad actors from attempting to abuse our platform, but we make it our highest priority to keep the community as safe as possible.
So what is changing?
Posts that contain adult content will no longer be allowed on Tumblr, and we’ve updated our Community Guidelines to reflect this policy change. We recognize Tumblr is also a place to speak freely about topics like art, sex positivity, your relationships, your sexuality, and your personal journey. We want to make sure that we continue to foster this type of diversity of expression in the community, so our new policy strives to strike a balance.
Why are we doing this?
It is our continued, humble aspiration that Tumblr be a safe place for creative expression, self-discovery, and a deep sense of community. As Tumblr continues to grow and evolve, and our understanding of our impact on our world becomes clearer, we have a responsibility to consider that impact across different age groups, demographics, cultures, and mindsets. We spent considerable time weighing the pros and cons of expression in the community that includes adult content. In doing so, it became clear that without this content we have the opportunity to create a place where more people feel comfortable expressing themselves.
Bottom line: There are no shortage of sites on the internet that feature adult content. We will leave it to them and focus our efforts on creating the most welcoming environment possible for our community.
So what’s next?
Starting December 17, 2018, we will begin enforcing this new policy. 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. All changes won’t happen overnight as something of this complexity takes time.
Another thing, filtering this type of content versus say, a political protest with nudity or the statue of David, is not simple at scale. We’re relying on automated tools to identify adult content and humans to help train and keep our systems in check. 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.
Most importantly, we’re going to be as transparent as possible with you about the decisions we’re making and resources available to you, including more detailed information, product enhancements, and more content moderators to interface directly with the community and content.
Like you, we love Tumblr and what it’s come to mean for millions of people around the world. Our actions are out of love and hope for our community. We won’t always get this right, especially in the beginning, but we are determined to make your experience a positive one.
This is aimed at most NSFW instead of the actual problem which is the bots, pedophilia and other mental/political issues that could be dealt with.
Trying to remove most positive and other wise ok NSFW because YOU lacked the ability and time frame to remove bots and viruses from YOUR platform is YOUR problem and lead to it being our problem and now YOU are punishing the people on here for it.
And the “no shortage of adult sites” statement is absolutely abhorrent that you view it that way. Some people don’t wanna go to those sites. Some people don’t like videos. Some people may want to explore privately or express themselves in ways that they don;’t want to do fully and publicly. Also some of those sites are….eh. Tumblr makes specific content readily available for someone…curated by someone else. Its not a corporation or group…its people to other people. And hell some people make money off of it too.
Certain tags and things i can understand removing but reducing it to just talking about sex positivity …isn’t positive. You are TAKING away peoples right to freely express themselves.
Ya know what i also remember from years ago when you yahoos took over the site? There was a big outcry about the possibly blocking of NSFW content, i laughed honestly because some of it was over dramatic.
The weren’t wrong. You are.
Don;t punish people because you and your company didn’t handle and issue that the people on this damn site pointed out for months on end and you didn’t do a damn thing about it. You are trying to market a product as what you want it to be, not what it is, and punishing the people for not living up to your marketable standards.