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A couple of weeks ago we announced an update to our Community Guidelines regarding adult content, and we’ve received a lot of questions and feedback from you. First and foremost, we are sorry that this has not been an easy transition and we know we can do a better job of explaining what we’re doing. We knew this wasn’t going to be an easy task and we appreciate your patience as we work through the challenges and limitations of correctly flagging tens of billions of GIFs, videos, and photos.
Today, December 17th, our policy begins to take effect. This means that we will start hiding – not deleting – posts that contain GIFs, videos, and photos from public view that are in violation of our policy. Again, this is a complex problem, and over the coming weeks we will gradually, and carefully, flag more adult content. (Yes, we will still make mistakes, but hopefully fewer and fewer.)
More importantly, we want to clarify the things that you, as a community, have asked about the most.
Tumblr will always be a place to explore your identity. Tumblr has always been home to marginalized communities and always will be. We fully recognize Tumblr’s special obligation to these communities and are committed to ensuring that our new policy on adult content does not silence the vital conversations that take place here every day. LGBTQ+ conversations, exploration of sexuality and gender, efforts to document the lives and challenges of those in the sex worker industry, and posts with pictures, videos, and GIFs of gender-confirmation surgery are all examples of content that is not only permitted on Tumblr but actively encouraged.
We also want to reiterate some important information from our Support post:
Your content will not be deleted. If your post(s) are flagged under the new policy, they will be hidden from public view and will only be visible to you. You can appeal these flags if you feel your content was erroneously marked as adult content. Upcoming feature changes will also make appeals more manageable for those of you with multiple flagged posts. Your blog won’t be deleted if you’ve posted adult content in the past, and there is nothing you need to do if you have interacted with adult content up until now–it will just be flagged and not publicly viewable. Don’t forget too that you can download your content. It’s yours after all, and we don’t take that lightly.
What is still permitted? We’ve heard a lot of concern about what the policy does not permit, but we want to make sure that you also know what is still permitted:
Written content such as erotica, nudity related to political or newsworthy speech, and nudity found in art, specifically sculptures and illustrations, is also stuff that can be freely posted on Tumblr. Although, photorealistic imagery or photography – images, videos, or GIFs – with real humans that include exposed genitals or female-presenting (yeah, we know you hate this term) nipples or depict sex acts is not allowed per our guidelines.
Examples of exceptions that are still permitted but that you may need to appeal if they are misclassified are: 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.
The automated tools will improve. Having a post mistakenly flagged as adult totally sucks; we understand and agree that there have been too many wrongfully flagged posts since we announced the policy change. With tens of billions of GIFs, videos, and photos to review and millions of new posts every day, we really need your help to get it right.
The more you help by reporting content that’s not permitted and by appealing content that you believe was flagged incorrectly, the better our automated tools will get at classifying your posts correctly. The more content these tools review, the more they will learn the difference between what’s permitted and what’s not. Most importantly, your content won’t be deleted if erroneously flagged and all appeals will be sent to a real, live human who can make the appropriate call.
We love Tumblr and the communities that call Tumblr home. You are Tumblr. This place has always been a reflection of the voices and communities that thrive here. As you’ve always done, help us continue to shape Tumblr into the community you want it to be.
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Tumblr when they were removed by Apple from the App Store:
Tumblr “working as quickly as possible to resolve the issue”:
Tumblr on December 18th looking for 60% of their users:
I typically repost porn but imma do this just for the accuracy.
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.
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