Porn ban pulls down Tumblr site traffic by 150 million

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Tumblr introduced a “safe mode” to filter “sensitive” images as a response to pornography found on the website. This resulted in a drop in visits from 521 million in December to 369 million in February, as per data from analytics website SimilarWeb.

Tumblr defined adult content as “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.”

The site was known for its adult content that was more than porn videos or images. Blogs were dedicated to discussing sex in healthy ways while some curated porn for specific communities. For instance, Bijouworld was dedicated to the history of gay porn, while Critique My Dick Pic put humor into dick pictures by grading them from A to F.

Users tried to rally the site to withdraw the ban with a petition that gained 600,000 signatures, but to no avail.

Tumblr also launched an anti-porn algorithm which has been criticized for flagging non-pornographic content, from illustrations of dogs to landscape photos.

The changes have been feared by users to be driving away artists who rely on the site to promote work and gain commissions.



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