Some old news about something pretty crappy got re-upped recently.
The old news: Tumblr has banned sexually explicit content. I was even featured in a Nightline segment about this issue when it happened and spoke to the New York Times about it, too — because this was actually really huge news.
Per Mashable, here’s what happened. Last November, Tumblr’s app was removed from the App Store because Apple allegedly identified illegal content being posted on the platform. Instead of cracking down on the exploitation of minors, the specific type of illegal content in question, Tumblr responded in December by banning sexually explicit content from the platform entirely. Their definition of what counted as sexually explicit was pretty damn vague (or course) and enforcement was extremely inconsistent (also, of course).
Here’s the Nightline segment I was featured in about the issue:
Now, the new news: Tumblr has taken a major traffic hit since the ban went into effect. Sexually explicit/NSFW posts were a major reason people used and enjoyed Tumblr. When that content was no longer available, many of them left.
How many of them left, you ask?
According to SimilarWeb analytics, traffic fell from 521 million monthly page views in December to 437 million in January. By the end of February, Tumblr only received 369 million page views — a 29 percent drop. Alexa showed that Tumblr’s global rank fell by two spots over the last three months, from 66 to 68.
It’s not that Tumblr was some perfect haven for porn. Though it certainly provided a space for less-frequently-seen content, as well as a place for marginalized communities to gather, it was a hellhole of rampant piracy. So, while many people were cultivating communities and (maybe?) customers — I say “maybe” because I don’t think anyone knows how much Tumblr exposure actually converted into sales, etc — many others were being outright exploited.
Here’s something I wrote about the exploitative side of Tumblr a few years back. The points still stand. Or, at least they did before Tumblr banned porn. Now they’re basically irrelevant.
Thanks, Tumblr! smdh
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