Menu

InstagramTwitterYouTubeFacebookSnapchat
Globe Icon
Join and support LGBT+ journalism

Join

and support
LGBT+ journalism

Community

LGBT people are logging off Tumblr to protest its porn ban

Josh Jackman December 18, 2018
A picture of two men kissing overlaid with tweets about logging off Tumblr because of its porn ban

The porn ban comes into force on Tumblr today, and LGBT users aren't happy (Tumblr and Twitter)

Floods of queer Tumblr users are logging off the site in order to protest the platform’s porn ban, which began on Monday (December 17).

The campaign, which is using the #logoffprotest hashtag on Twitter, began on at 5am UK time and lasted 24 hours.

Its organisers have written that if the virtual walkout does not result in the ban being lifted, they will encourage followers to email and tweet at Tumblr staff, engage in another protest—this time a week long—and then, if all other options don’t work, to delete their accounts.

What is the Tumblr porn ban and why is it being protested?

Tumblr’s new policy, which prohibits “photos, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples,” sparked outrage when it was announced earlier this month, as LGBT+ pornographers warned it would take away a “vital social component” and “further marginalise” the queer community.

The protest is mainly concerned with “the flagging system Tumblr uses, and how it directly targets content creators. Oftentimes, content creators’ posts are flagged as NSFW (Not Safe For Work) even when SFW,” its leaders have explained.

“This prevents others from seeing the post, damaging their audience. Not only is art incorrectly flagged, but memes are as well. Simple pictures of cats are being flagged as NSFW,” they claimed.

“The ban is good in principle, but in practice it is ineffective and damaging to the community as a whole.

“This is due to Tumblr not updating their filtering system and not enforcing other rules stated in their TOS, such as hate speech being prohibited. (There are a lot of neo-Nazis on this site).”

Queer users join Tumblr porn ban protest

LGBT+ people have rushed to participate in the campaign to get the Tumblr porn ban reversed.

“It’s not in the interest of just ‘saving porn’ that we log off today.”

— @SentientToast

Many of them have claimed that queer people, artists and sex workers will be disproportionately affected by the move, while far-right users and porn bots are left uncensored.

“It’s not in the interest of just ‘saving porn’ that we log off today,” one user wrote, “but the sheer impact this is causing to LGBTQA+ groups & hardworking nsfw creators that make a living from their works—all while you continue to fail at regulating nazis, illegal content and virus bots.”

Another tweeter agreed with this perspective, writing: “You know what day it is? It’s the day @tumblr updates their policies to silence artists, LGBT+ people and everyone trying to make their comfortable little corner in the internet.

“Meanwhile the problem they are trying to solve is not going anywhere.”

Tumblr was “blocking artists & LGBT folk via badly-coded bot, while not lifting a finger against the REAL issues that are causing problems on their site,” another person wrote.

“It’s a terribly-conceived, terribly-executed idiotic nightmare that will ultimately make the internet no safer.”

— @Alena_Lane

Some specified Tumblr tags that they were upset at losing, with one user tweeting: “Off tumblr for the day; the #tumblrpurge destroying LGBTQ, abuse survivor, top surgery, and similar tags while letting pornbots continue under tags like selfie, and ignoring nazis & white supremacists is unacceptable.”

Others mourned the loss of a crucial place to explore, learn and shape queer culture.

One of these people said: “The #tumblrpurge ordeal affects not only sex workers and adult art creators, it affects the LGBTQ community for any posts tagged as #queer #lgbt or something of the sort can be deemed NSFW.

“Workers and creators are out of a valuable space to share their content, and emerging LGBTQ folks are out of a valuable resource and a space where they can begin to grow and learn about their identity.

Tweet objecting to the Tumblr porn ban
“This whole thing with Tumblr is SO f***ed because they keep flagging posts that have NOTHING to do with their concerns and are often lgbt+ content” (cockyroaches/twitter)

“I know for a FACT that as soon as I ID’d as queer and was dating a nonbinary person, I rushed to tumblr to learn just where to start with all of this,” they recalled.

One commented that the ban was “bad for the LGBT+ community and fandom,” while another said it was “harmful to creators as well as several communities who found a safe space there, especially the LGBT+ community.”

A particularly damning tweet accused Tumblr of rolling out “a terribly-conceived, terribly-executed idiotic nightmare that will ultimately make the internet no safer, but will silence the voices of women, lgbtq+ folks, artists, and sex workers.”

More: ban, Internet, porn, sex workers, social media, Tumblr, tumblr porn ban, tumblrlogoff, Twitter, US, World

Click to comment

Swipe sideways to view more posts!

Dismiss

Loading ...

Close icon