Tumblr social networking website seen displayed on a smart phone.
Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
By Megan McCluskey
December 3, 2018

Tumblr has announced that all adult content will be permanently banned from its platform on December 17, a move that is expected to drastically alter how the microblogging site is used.

According to Tumblr’s Help Center, adult content, including “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,” will no longer be allowed on the social-networking outlet. However, there are some exceptions to the rule, including breastfeeding photos, nudity found in art, nudity related to political speech and written erotica.

The decision comes in the wake of the Tumblr app being removed from Apple’s iOS App Store in November over child pornography issues. “Starting Dec 17, adult content will not be allowed on Tumblr, regardless of how old you are. You can read more about what kinds of content are not allowed on Tumblr in our Community Guidelines,” the Help Center page reads.

After Dec. 17th, any new explicit posts will be flagged and deleted by algorithms. Existing adult content will be set to a “private mode” and will only be visible to the original poster.

“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,” Tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio wrote in a blog post. “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.”

Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@timeinc.com.

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