Tumblr to ban all adult content

Tumblr, the online blogging site owned by Verizon since its July 2016 acquisition of Yahoo, will ban nudity and other X-rated content beginning Dec. 17, 2018.

“Starting Dec. 17, adult content will not be allowed on Tumblr, regardless of how old you are,” the note reads. “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.”

Tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio painted the ban as a move towards a “better, more positive Tumblr” in a blog post Monday. “We spent considerable time weighing the pros and cons of expression in the community that includes adult content,” he wrote. “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.”

Quickly, an online backlash ensued and the hashtag #tumblrisdead emerged on Twitter. “The place served as a great site for underground artists of all content – including those who like SEX,” offered one poster.

Yahoo acquired Tumblr for $1.1 billion in 2013. The company, and its new owner Verizon, have since struggled to monetize Tumblr’s community. But the site has remained active with 449.2 million blogs and, according to its statistics, had more than 32.4 million posts on Monday.

Since Tumblr was founded in 2007, it has largely turned a blind eye to adult content. The company has tried to shield it from public view through Safe Mode and more stringent search filters. But in recent months — and under the ownership of Verizon’s Oath unit — it began to consider removing content more aggressively.

Apple removed Tumblr’s app from its App Store on 16 November after child porn surfaced within the app.