Tumblr Isn't Removing Porn, Just Making It a Hell of a Lot Harder to Find

Josh WolfordSocial Media

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Imagine someone baked you a cookie and promised you that you could have it whenever you wanted. "You promise not to take it away?" you ask them. "Yes," they say. "I promise. Even though your dad doesn't really want you to have cookies, I promise that I'll leave the cookie in your house for you."

Then, let's imagine that they put it in a box and hid it from you. Sure, you can find it - but it's really hard to find and almost not worth the effort. At that point, would you say that they have basically taken your cookie away from you?

With that story in mind, know that Tumblr has just released a new set of guidelines for NSFW and Adult blogs that basically puts your porn in a box and hides it from you.

"Tumblr welcomes and encourages all forms of expression. However, we have to be sensitive to the millions of readers and bloggers from different locations, cultures, and backgrounds with different points of view concerning mature or adult-oriented content. There are a lot of people in our community who would rather not see this stuff and could even get in trouble if they did," says Tumblr on their new NSFW and Adult blogs guideline page.

With that, Tumblr is asking blog owners to help protect those who do not wish to see adult content by tagging their blogs as either NSFW or Adult, if applicable. NSFW means that your blog has some occasional nudity - maybe an artful nude photograph or a breastfeeding photo. Adult means that your blog contains a substantial amount of nudity and adult-oriented content - which means full on porn, I guess.

Of course, if blog owners don't do this on their own, they could be flagged an given either a NSFW or Adult tag automatically.

Now, if your blog is tagged as NSFW, it will no longer appear in tag pages and searches for logged-out users. Your content will also not appear in the streams of users who don't follow you.

The big hit here is taken by Adult blogs, however. Adult blogs no longer appear in search engines like Google or in Tumblr search results.

Tumblr isn't removing adult content - they're just making it really hard to find.

When Yahoo announced its Tumblr acquisition back in May, Tumblr users threw a fit. Part of their concern stemmed from the fact that they believed Yahoo's influence would lead to Tumblr censoring all of the adult content on the site. And as we know, there's a hell of a lot of it.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer assuaged some fears when she said that Yahoo is not interested in restricting content on Tumblr. And just this week, Tumblr CEO David Karp echoed that sentiment, saying,

“Look, we’ve taken a pretty hard line on freedom of speech, supporting our users’ creation – whatever that looks like. It’s just not something that we want to police.”

Despite that claim, it appears that the porn crackdown is here. In with the ads, and out with the porn.

Of course, this is a bigger blow to blog creators that frequently feature adult content. The average Tumblr user will be fine - they can find porn and other adult content anywhere. But this decrease in visibility will most likely hurt tons of Tumblr blog owners.

Tumblr is hiding your cookies. The question is, will users look for another baker?

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf