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Tumblr Makes a Big Porn Policy Reversal

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Tumblr Makes a Big Porn Policy Reversal
[ Social Media]

Here’s the thing about porn: no matter how you try to push it down, hide it, and otherwise prevent internet users from accessing it – porn will find a way.

Ask Tumblr CEO David Karp, who over the weekend issued a ‘clarification’ that really amounted to a reversal in policy concerning “NSFW & Adult’ blog visibility on the site. This move came in response to user backlash over a recent shift in Tumblr’s adult content policies that didn’t quite remove porn from the network, but made it a hell of a lot hard to find.

“All, we’ve heard from a bunch of you who are concerned about Tumblr censoring NSFW/adult content. While there seems to be a lot of misinformation flying around, most of the confusion seems to stem from our complicated flagging/filtering features. Let me clear up (and fix) a few things,” said Karp in a blog post.

Last week, Tumblr introduced a new Adult blogs guidelines page that explained the blog network’s new rules concerning blogs tagged as both “NSFW” (mildly racy) and “Adult” (super racy). Per the new rules, both NSFW and Adult blogs could no longer appear in search pages for logged-out users and Adult blogs were stricken from both third party search engines (like Google) and Tumblr own internal search.

Cue the outrage.

Karp addresses the issue with the three-pronged approach. First, he says that they have fixed a “bug” that was preventing adult blogs from appearing in search results even when Safe Mode had been disabled.

Second, Karp explains that there’s really nothing to be done about some tag searches being blocked in their mobile apps. The prevalence of porn related to many tag searches is risky to Tumblr’s standing in some app universes. Basically, Karp says that they could get banned for promoting such content. Good news, however: you can still access all of it from Tumblr’s mobile site.

Finally, and most importantly, Karp says that adult blogs will now be placed back into Google:

“Earlier this year, in an effort to discourage some not-so-nice people from using Tumblr as free hosting for spammy commercial porn sites, we started delisting this tiny subset of blogs from search engines like Google. This was never intended to be an opt-in flag, but for some reason could be enabled after checking off NSFW → Adult in your blog settings. This was confusing and unnecessary, so we’ve dropped the extra option. If your blog contains anything too sexy for the average workplace, simply check “Flag this blog as NSFW” so people in Safe Mode can avoid it. Your blog will still be promoted in third-party search engines,” he says.

The previous move to restrict adult blogs from third party searches could have affected as many as 12.5 million blogs -making them virtually untrackable via search. This reversal should fix that. Blog owners, you can now exhale.

“Aside from these fixes, there haven’t been any recent changes to Tumblr’s treatment of NSFW content, and our view on the topic hasn’t changed. Empowering your creative expression is the most important thing in the world to us. Making sure people aren’t surprised by content they find offensive is also incredibly important and we are always working to put more control in your hands,” says Karp.

Porn and Tumblr go hand in hand – we know there’s a lot of it on the site. After Yahoo acquired Tumblr back in May, CEO Marissa Mayer said that Yahoo would not be restricting content. Later, Karp echoed her sentiment.

But they did try to make it very hard to find. Now, NSFW blog owners can rest knowing their content won’t be completely buried.

Tumblr Makes a Big Porn Policy Reversal
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  • Name

    Sex makes the world go round and it sells everything in the United States. We are very hypocritical on this topic. In countries that have a healthier attitude towards sex, there are much fewer problems. In the United States, where everything is taboo, we have rampant addiction, violence, and incarceration. In the end, the more you make something taboo the more people will seek it out. The ironic thing is that Americans see all this happening right before their eyes and they will not acknowledge it. It is like we are stuck in a 50′s mentality about everything. I have news for people — the 50′s weren’t all that good. After all, those were the years when people actually believed hiding under their desks was going to save them from a nuclear bomb.

  • Toto in Kansas

    A “Lady of the Night” at the Bunny Ranch once told me: “if there were more whore houses in the US, there’d be less child molesters, rapists and sexual crimes.

    • Overblown

      The perception and the reality of sex crimes in the US are vastly different. On the news, you hear about the worst cases. However, if you research actual cases you will find that there are many men serving prison terms for consensual sex acts, having pornography in their possession, or going to meet someone from the internet. In all three of those types of cases, no one is harmed except the person being sent to prison. In the case of the internet crimes, the vast majority do not even have people involved in their cases and the “victims” pursue the attackers, which fundamentally does not make sense.

      Don’t get me wrong. There are real sex crimes out there. I just think that we need more logic regarding the topic of sex. If two people consent to something, then no one is harmed. Why harm a person by sending them to prison? If a sex crime does not have a victim, why harm a real person by sending them to prison? If a person goes to see who they are talking to on the internet and literally nothing happens, why harm a person by sending them to prison? It doesn’t make sense and actually takes away from the effort to stop real sex crimes where people are violently hurt.

  • http://nsfwtumblr.com jay zee

    just use nsfwtumblr.com you can even import your old tumblr blog and that way you never have to worry about yahoo again! haha

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