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Tumblr Is (Partially) Reversing Its Adult Content Ban

  • 4 min read

Will the platform celebrate its comeback?

Tumblr once was a hit for creators.

Its current status is “relic of the internet”.

At the beginning of this year, The New Yorker called the social media platform “something like an Atlantis of social networks”.

In fact, in 2018, when the company banned adult content and nudity from the platform, it lost more than one-third of its monthly page views.

For many users, Tumblrs “Go nuts, show nuts. Whatever.” policy was the lifeblood of the platform and an act of self-expression.

If you check Google Trends (worldwide) in 2022 you see, except for one peak (I’ll talk about it in a second), the interest in Tumblr is at a very low level.

google Trends for Tumblr

But how about the peak?

On November 2nd, Tumblr announced in their new Community Guidelines that clothing will be optional again.

New community guidelines Tumblr

What does the reversion of the ban mean?

Nudity and “mature subject matter” are allowed.

“Visual depictions of sexually explicit acts” will remain forbidden.

Porn should be reported.

‘The casually porn-friendly era of the early internet is currently impossible’

Tumblr’s new CEO Matt explained:

“I am personally extremely libertarian in terms of what consenting adults should be able to share, and I agree with “go nuts, show nuts” in principle, but the I am personally extremely libertarian in terms of what consenting adults should be able to share, and I agree with “go nuts, show nuts” in principle, but the casually porn-friendly era of the early internet is currently impossible.”

The future of Tumblr

From a creator's perspective, this shift might create more room to express yourself.

From a business perspective, Tumblr isn’t as buzzy and shiny as it used to be. As CNBC said the company went “from $1 billion Yahoo payday to a $3 million fire sale”.

Yet from a marketing perspective, it’s really interesting to know that one third of Tumblr users are Generation Z.

This indicates that young people are still interested in the platform. They think they can find good content and can create content on their own terms there.

Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic argues that the future of Tumblr is just about to begin:

“Art pushes boundaries. (…) It needs to be the best place on the web for art and artists — a place where they can have a direct relationship to their audience and people can follow things, not an algorithm that’s trying to enrage you.”

What’s your opinion on the reversion of the ban?

1 — Let’s “Go nuts, show nuts. Whatever.” again!

2 — I still have a Tumblr trauma from all these images I had to see back then…

3 — Tumblr is getting worse!

4 — I thought Tumblr is dead!

5 — Tumblr pushed me away, why should I come back?

6 — I’ll give Tumblr a try with my art. Sounds interesting.


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