Tumblr says it is banning images and videos that feature “adult content,” including pornography, from its platform. The change, which will start December 17, threatens to alienate some of the blogging website’s most active communities.
The company said Monday that it will no longer allow any images or videos of sex acts, nor will it allow “real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples.” It will make exceptions for non-sexual content, including breastfeeding photos and “health-related situations,” such as sex-reassignment surgeries and mastectomies.
The decision comes weeks after Tumblr’s mobile app was removed by Apple from the App Store. Soon after the app was removed, Tumblr acknowledged that it had found and removed material related to child sexual abuse on its website.
At the time, Tumblr said the material appeared on the website because it had slipped past a filter. The company scans images uploaded to the website against an industry database. The content in question had not yet been included in the database, according to Tumblr.
By expanding its list of banned material, Tumblr said it wants to make more people “feel comfortable expressing themselves” on the platform.Tumblr will still allow written adult content, including erotica, fan fiction and other creative writing.