Tumblr’s Porn Ban Will Delete A Huge Part Of Internet Culture

Today, Tumblr announced the idea will ban all adult content (that has a few exceptions for wholesome nudes) starting in two weeks. After of which, porn will become invisible to everyone however the owner of the blog where the idea’s posted.

Allow me to illustrate how I feel about This kind of decision using a photo I found on Tumblr (warning: NSFW):

This kind of will kill a modest however significant chunk of the internet. Much like This kind of (warning: very NSFW) GIF, the idea’s hard to even consider how to measure the impact of This kind of — I’m guessing there are hundreds of thousands (millions?) of blogs of which will be shut down along with disappear forever. Some were abandoned years ago, however others are still very active. along with god knows how many millions of individual posts contain what is actually deemed adult content.

(According to Tumblr’s blog post, some forms of nudity, like gender-confirmation surgery photos or the weenus on Michelangelo’s “David,” will still be allowed. Though most “female-presenting nipples” are banned, breastfeeding along with childbirth nudity will also be allowed. There was no mention on “unbirthing,” the subgenre of vore where something — usually a cartoon furry — shoves another cartoon furry back up its vagina. A glaring oversight.)

This kind of is actually not the beginning of the end of the internet as we know the idea. of which began years ago, maybe starting with Yahoo’s deletion of Geocities in 2009 (Yahoo also bought Tumblr in 2013 — are you sensing a pattern?). Then there was Myspace’s removal of all your manicured Top 8s, along with just recently, the removal of hot-linked images coming from Photobucket.

currently we’re living through the middle of the end. At some point around 2020, we’ll wake up, look around, along with realize all our old photos coming from college are gone, we can’t see our old wall posts coming from friends because we deleted Facebook in protest of whatever the 2019 outrage was, along with worst of all, we have absolutely nothing left to jerk off to.

A lot what Tumblr is actually banning is actually just gratuitous porn GIFs, along with the internet is actually not lacking options when the idea comes to free pornography. however Tumblr is actually also a thriving place for the kind of sexual expression of which you won’t find on Pornhub. “Tumblr sex sites created spaces for ALL KINDS of people who don’t have access to sexual community elsewhere,” wrote Steven Thrasher. the idea has always been a safe haven for young people exploring along with expressing their sexuality. There is actually tasteful erotica, supportive places for people to post their own bodies — including those of which don’t look like typical porn bodies — along with to consume along with engage with the wide swath of human sexual experience of which can’t be replicated by logging on to xHamster along with being greeted that has a blast of extremely aggressive heterosexual facials.

along with of course, where else could one go to see erotic fan art of the Laughing Cow cow having sex with the Lactaid cartoon cow? Personally, I enjoyed the funny crude/nude humor on Tumblr (I do a joint Tumblr, along that has a few of my colleagues, called “Worst Things on the Internet,” which is actually very NSFW), along with I’ll miss of which. however I care more about the massive loss of internet history of which will happen when all these images are lost forever.

This kind of loss is actually especially painful coming a month after the announcement coming from Flickr of which the site will soon limit free account holders to 1,000 photos along with begin deleting old photos beyond of which. This kind of too will amount to a staggering loss of internet history — in This kind of case, people’s personal history along with data. When a home gets hit by fire or flood, the loss of old family photos is actually often one of the most heartbreaking details, along with yet news of the looming deletion of millions of personal photos got little attention when Flickr first announced the idea.

Part of the death of the old internet is actually down to a series of bad moves by a handful of particularly bad companies. Flickr was bought by Yahoo for $35 million in 2005, along with for a while was a great community along that has a safe place to store your Nikon Coolpix photos. however the idea fell out of favor for a bunch of reasons — Facebook along with Instagram became better social networks for sharing photos, along with the rise of smartphones along with decline of digital cameras changed the way we take along with store photos.

Yahoo was bought by Verizon in 2017, along with under their umbrella formed a brand-new subsidiary along with AOL called Oath. of which corporate shuffle involved all the pain along with layoffs you can imagine, along with CEO Tim Armstrong resigned This kind of fall. A bunch of the smaller pieces of Yahoo’s along with AOL’s businesses were sold off — Moviefone was sold to MoviePass (we know how of which went), along with fashion site Polyvore was sold to an e-commerce site called Ssense, which promptly shut the idea down, converting its users to a mailing list. In June, Verizon closed down its streaming video site Go90, taking a write-down of $658 million inside process. This kind of April, Flickr was sold to SmugMug, a photo storage company, along with six months later, the photo storage company announced its plans to delete a massive amount of photos.

Tumblr was also part of This kind of grim corporate dance: the idea was bought by Yahoo for $1 billion in 2013 (of which’s the same cost Facebook paid for Instagram for in 2012, which, lol). Tumblr’s founder, David Karp, left the company in November 2017.

“Like you, we love Tumblr along with what the idea’s come to mean for millions of people around the planet.” Tumblr’s brand-new CEO Jeff D’Onofrio wrote inside staff blog today about the change in policy around adult content. “Our actions are out of love along with desire for our community.”

Did Karp leaving Tumblr make the idea vulnerable to a brand-new leader drastically changing the culture along with DNA of the platform? Maybe! This kind of isn’t unprecedented. Instagram’s founders, Kevin Systrom along with Mike Krieger, left a few months ago due to rumored clashes over the Facebook-ification of their app. You may have noticed of which there’s been a lot more Facebook integration in your Instagram inside last couple of months.

however there’s a more pressing issue of which Tumblr’s porn ban seems to be addressing. About two weeks ago, the Tumblr app disappeared coming from the Apple App Store, along that has a bunch of Tumblr blogs mysteriously went into “safe mode.” On Nov. 16, Tumblr posted an announcement of which the idea had discovered child exploitation content on private blogs.

Tumblr, like Gmail along with some other digital services, uses a database of known child exploitation images managed by the National Center for Missing along with Exploited Children. The database offers a “hashed” form of the images — basically a digital fingerprint — of which can be used for automated scanning. During a routine manual search, the idea discovered brand-new images of which weren’t already part of the database. of which’s very bad.

D’Onofrio alluded to This kind of incident today. “Posting anything of which is actually harmful to minors, including child pornography, is actually abhorrent along with has no place in our community. We’ve always had along with always will have a zero tolerance policy because of This kind of type of content,” he wrote.

the idea’s unclear if the ban on adult content was a long-planned crackdown or a quick response to the recent discoveries, or some mix of the two. however the idea’s not hard to imagine a scenario where executives at Verizon, upon hearing “hey, of which weird not-too-profitable social network we own, of which peaked in 2012? the idea’s rife with the worst along with most illegal images possible,” threw up their hands along with said fuck the idea, just ban all adult content, we’re not paying for any more moderators. A representative for Oath pointed to the official staff blog in response to a request for comment.

the idea’s not easy to be a platform founded on the digital free speech ideals of the early to mid-2000s in This kind of nightmarish year of our Lord Satan, 2018. Twitter was founded by people who described themselves as the “free speech wing of the free speech party,” along with in recent years, they have woken up to the idea of which perhaps we need to do something about the Nazis on here. A few years ago, Google tried to make all adult content on Blogger — remember .blogspot.com? — go “private” (visible only to some other Blogger followers), which could have affected things as innocuous as a blog of which reviews romance novels. Google reversed the decision, however, I mean…who uses Blogger anyway? Craigslist removed its entire personals section This kind of spring after Congress passed the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act along with Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (FOSTA-SESTA), which holds websites liable for sex trafficking posts by users. This kind of has had the unintended (or, some believe, totally intended!) effect of creating sex workers’ jobs more dangerous.

Tumblr allowed adult content coming from the beginning, along with the idea ended up discovering a festering child porn problem. Moderating This kind of stuff isn’t easy or cheap — human moderators are expensive, along with This kind of kind of work is actually especially exhausting. There are real-world consequences to the festering hate on Twitter or Gab, along with there are real victims of sex trafficking along with child exploitation.

There are also real-world consequences, though much more subtle, to the wholesale deletion of the recent past on the internet. Our digital lives are our real lives, along with digital culture — Tumblr culture — is actually real culture. When we lose of which, we lose whole communities, friendships, methods of communication, jokes, along with artifacts. Perhaps we never should have believed all This kind of could last forever — are we all still going to be just, tweeting things when we’re 75? — however the march to delete the internet of the 2000s seems to be moving along much faster than the march to make today’s internet a better place.

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