Tumblr Will Rub Out Its Porn, Starting Dec. 17

Adult content will be banished from Tumblr in two weeks, on the same day as the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

Screenshot: Tumblr

Onetime internet porn hotbed Tumblr has already stuck a plug in much of the adult content on its social networking site, having already disabled search results for “NSFW” and a number of other saucy terms. But the final blow came in an announcement today, as The Verge reports that Tumblr will ban all adult content effective Dec. 17, 2018.

The move comes just two weeks after Tumblr was kicked out of the Apple App Store over allegations that child pornography was slipping onto the platform, and not long after the FOSTA/SESTA internet censorship bill went into effect and killed off Craigslist Casual Encounters.

“Starting Dec 17, adult content will not be allowed on Tumblr, regardless of how old you are,” Tumblr says in newly updated Community Guidelines. “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.”

Unsurprisingly, the expression “female-presenting nipples” quickly drew internet mockery.

In response to the quick backlash, Tumble CEO Jeff D’Onofrio put out his explanation on a company blog post. “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,” D’Onofrio writes. “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.”

But among sex workers, Tumblr’s chosen cutoff date of Dec. 17 seems particularly mean-spirited since that day is International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. It’s a tough day for that increasingly persecuted community to lose yet another safe platform.

“Sex workers share important info on Tumblr like providing folks with education, and resources, and really just much-needed community, which is hard to find when you’re in a stigmatized profession like sex work,” Laura Dilley, executive director of sex worker advocacy organization PACE Society told the Daily Beast.

Tumblr was bought up by then-major Silicon Valley player Yahoo in 2013 for more than a billion dollars, though its headquarters remained in New York. The platform has tumbled in value since, and is now owned by Verizon’s AOL subsidiary Oath.

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