On December 17, Tumblr will be putting into effect an "adult content" ban, The Verge reported this morning. The decision comes just a few days after Apple removed the app from the iOS App Store due to issues with child pornography, and inspired backlash from users who are wondering why the company has decided to ban all explicit content rather than, I don't know, just the child pornography.
According to the Tumblr help center, "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" will on longer be allowed. Such posts will be filtered and deleted by algorithms. (Tumblr users with existing explicit content that gets flagged will be emailed prior to December 17, upon which these posts will be made "private" so they can't be reblogged). Acceptable forms of "adult content" include written erotica, nudity in art or related to "political and newsworthy speech," or "female-presenting nipples" related to breastfeeding, birth or after-birth.
The notice itself isn't enforcing any particularly surprising rules (beyond the initial decision itself), but one bit stands out from the rest. Namely, the clause regarding "no more female-presenting nipples," which is clearly an attempt at crafting inclusive language, despite being a policy that undermines the very effort of inclusion. The effect is very awkward and incredibly meme-able. Tumblr, as usual, is on it:
We don't yet know how Tumblr's culture will be effected by removing such a substantial portion of their content, or how many content creators will be negatively impacted. Only time can tell what changes will be wrought by enforcing no̵ ̵more f͟e͡ma̕l͟e҉ pr̸e͠s͏enti͡n̢g ni͜pples.
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