Tumblr has announced that it will ban adult content, including porn videos and photos, starting on December 17.

The policy, which will prohibit “photos, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples,” is expected to deeply affect many queer folk on Tumblr who use the platform as a safe space to post and view LGBT+ adult content.



The site, which faced outrage from the LGBT+ community last year when it was revealed that its new safe mode blocked LGBT+ content, has taken the step following the removal of Tumblr’s app from Apple’s iOS App Store after child porn was discovered on the service.

In its new guidelines, Tumblr stated that the new rules will apply to all users, “regardless of how old you are.”

Exceptions to Tumblr’s new adult content rule

Tumblr is seemingly attempting to avoid discriminating against women and LGBT+ people by stating that the changes will not affect “exposed female-presenting nipples in connection with breastfeeding” as well as “birth or after-birth moments.”

The company, which has previously provided an online safe haven for many in the queer community, has also specified that the new rules don’t include “health-related situations, such as post-mastectomy or gender confirmation surgery.

“Bottom line: There are no shortage of sites on the internet that feature adult content. We will leave it to them”

— Jeff D’Onofrio

“Written content such as erotica, nudity related to political or newsworthy speech, and nudity found in art, such as sculptures and illustrations, are also stuff that can be freely posted on Tumblr,” the guidelines explain.

In a Tumblr post, the company’s CEO Jeff D’Onofrio told users that the ban was meant to ensure the platform would be “a safe place for creative expression, self-discovery, and a deep sense of community.

“As Tumblr continues to grow and evolve, and our understanding of our impact on our world becomes clearer, we have a responsibility to consider that impact across different age groups, demographics, cultures, and mindsets,” he added.

D’Onofrio wrote that the new guidelines would increase, not reduce the number of people who saw Tumblr as a place where they and their content could find a home.

“We spent considerable time weighing the pros and cons of expression in the community that includes adult content,” he said.

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“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.”

Queer Tumblr users were devastated at the news

Tumblr has a large LGBT+ userbase, and it seems that many were deeply upset at the news that their adult content would be banned in just two weeks’ time.

One person tweeted: “tumblr is literally the only place where its easy to find nsfw lgbt content for and by actual lgbt people. its soooo hard to find s**t that isnt harmful or fetishy when it comes to nsfw for gay and trans people.”

A tweet about Tumblr's decision to ban adult content from its platform
“Tumblr is literally the only place where its easy to find nsfw lgbt content for and by actual lgbt people” (sasugayuchiha/twitter)

Another user waved goodbye to the platform, saying: “thank u @tumblr for introducing me to the gay culture and my first gay porno. you will be missed xo.”

They weren’t the only one, with a different former Tumblr fan tweeting: “Legit though I only used Tumblr for porn anymore and I haven’t even logged into the sfw one in like a year and a half so I guess it’s time to tidy up and take my gay ass elsewhere bye bitch.”

Not all posts were complimentary about Tumblr as a whole, but they often still expressed positive emotions about its queer adult content, with one person writing: “as sh**ty as tumblr is it’s one of the few places where you could browse nsfw content without it being extremely straight and male gaze focused. f**king hell, man.”

Another user summed this up more concisely, saying: “BUT tumblr has the best gay porn.”

Some gallows humour was still on show, with one person writing: “the gays rushing to save as much nsfw fanart of their gay ships as they can before tumblr deletes all porn content from its site” above a GIF of a person snatching items from a table.




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