Tumblr Community Reactions to Site's Ban on "Sensitive" Content

On December 3rd, the social media website Tumblr released a statement to all its users regarding their new policy in place for content. Under this new policy, all posts that contain adult content will no longer be allowed on the site beginning December 17th. They've already taken the steps to begin this "cracking" down on NSFW content, but there are just a few issues present with this sudden ban. 

A little background information: a few weeks ago Tumblr was removed from the Apple App Store after large reports of child abuse contents. (Source) Over the past year or so users of the platform have been reporting these blogs and a large number of spam porn bots popping up all over the platform. Tumblr Staff's decision to ignore these reports led to their sudden removal from the App Store. As a result, the social media platform began scrambling to figure out a solution to this. 

All background information covered this new policy has presented some major issues already for users. As part of a way to enforce this policy, they put in place an automated system to auto-detect and flag what is categorized as adult content. However, extremely harmless posts are being flagged. Such as images of peoples' faces, memes, even going as far as to flag images of peoples knees. Insanity right?

The second major issue here: Between late last year and earlier this year, the site introduced Safe Mode. This combined with the tagging system was meant to enable users to streamline their dash and only see content they wanted to see. This also meant users could block tags and posts of content they didn't wish to interact with. When this system proved to be buggy Tumblr staff still profusely ignored its user base, and instead decided that this solution was better than developing necessary technology and taking care of the problem.

The third major issue: Within their new policy, they explicitly state "female-presenting nipples" as something that will be flagged. This, of course, created quite the uproar for its misogynistic claim and cause a lot of backlash from users stating it was unfair and basically erased those transgender users. It also caused some users to raise the question of gender what exactly would be viewed as "female-presenting nipples". Other users have also argued that this content ban is in a lot of ways reducing the amount of body positivity that goes around on the site. For many users being on Tumblr and seeing all types of bodies of all shapes and sizes and abilities was their first time encountering content that didn't make them feel ostracized and allowed them to feel comfortable in themselves.

While this is something still developing, we are more than guaranteed to hear more from the Tumblr community users and what they have to say about the site's final decision of policy change. 

In conclusion, Tumblr is a site that if it continues on this path probably will meet its downfall much like MySpace and is a site that consistently shows it doesn't care about the user experience. In response, they will probably lose a lot of user and site traffic and in return lose a lot of revenue behind these decisions. 

So, Tumblr 

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