We’ve been reporting recently on Tumblr, the blogging site which has announced that all “adult” material would be removed from its blogs, or at least hidden from users.
Today, 17 December, 2018, is the proverbial D-Day. It is on this date that the adult material is to be exiled.
The following is the current posting from Tumblr staff on the situation. Note that the company is now saying that user’s material will not be deleted, but merely removed from view.
What this will mean in the long run, and whether Tumblr will really be able to keep erotica off its blogs, remains to be seen.
From Tumblr Staff:
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 ourSupport 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 flaggedand 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.