Tumblr ends porn-friendly decade with blanket ban on adult content

Tumblr has announced it will ban all pornography and adult content from its site, ending more than a decade of a relatively open policy when it comes to user-submitted content.

The microblogging tool says all sexual content previously posted will disappear from public view on December 17 this year and no new content will be allowed. The decision comes as the company looks to appeal to a wider range of users of differing age groups and cultural backgrounds.

The news follows Tumblr being kicked off the Apple App Store last month, when child pornography made it through the content filters. It’s not clear whether today’s decision is as a direct result of that error, but the site now says a porn-free community will benefit the user base as a whole.

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The company’s CEO Jeff D’Onofrio said: “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.

“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.”

Previously, Tumblr had attempted to create a “safe mode” in order to keep the platform clear of smut for anyone too young to see it, or uninterested in viewing it, but clearly that hasn’t been up to the task.

So what’s been banned? Well, in a post in the Tumblr help centre on Monday, the company writes: “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 says there are some exceptions that are still permitted, such as images showing breastfeeding or pre-and-post-birth moments. While naughty drawings are banned, written content is still permitted.

Do you agree with the decision to remove pornography from Tumblr? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter?