Daily Archives: December 4, 2018

When Tumblr bans porn, who loses?…

Date: December 04, 2018

01) When Tumblr bans porn, who loses?

“On Monday, Tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio announced in a post on the staff blog that explicit visual content will be banned from the site starting on December 17. That means no more sex acts, no more nudity, and no more “female-presenting nipples,” whatever that means. The move comes after the Tumblr app was removed from the App Store in late November, due to the presence of child pornography on a number of private blogs.

Yet despite D’Onofrio’s assurances, the NSFW ban will directly affect artists, sex workers, and others who rely on the platform as a welcoming and inclusive space to discuss and depict diverse expressions of sexuality. It also speaks to Tumblr’s larger problems as a creative platform that could not have survived without founder David Karp selling it to a larger company, and has since been contorted and stifled by what it’s had to do to keep existing.

Why would Tumblr ban porn after 11 years of porn?

Tumblr, founded in 2007, was acquired by Yahoo in May 2013 for $1.1 billion despite sustained protest from its user base, including one petition with more than 170,000 signatures. Three years later, after it failed to reach advertising goals set by former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Yahoo wrote down $230 million of Tumblr’s value. The following quarter, citing projections for the company’s future possible ad revenue, they wrote it down again — this time by $482 million.

If Tumblr didn’t exactly blossom under Yahoo, it was at least left mostly alone. Then, in June 2017, Yahoo was acquired by Verizon for its ad business and merged into a punchline media company called Oath, smashed up against AOL — acquired in 2015, also for its ad business. Karp left the company in November 2017, and was replaced by D’Onofrio, then Tumblr’s COO and formerly an executive at post-Google-acquisition Zagat.

In November came the Tumblr app’s removal from the Apple Store. Speculation both inside and outside the platform’s community assumed this was the cause of the explicit content ban — a fear of being locked out of Apple’s precious walled garden, and an unwillingness to dedicate engineering resources to the task of creating a product that could adequately distinguish child pornography from other types of explicit content.

But a former staff engineer, who recently left Tumblr and asked to remain anonymous for professional reasons, tells Vox that the NSFW ban was “in the works for about six months as an official project,” adding that it was given additional resources and named “Project X” in September, shortly before it was announced to the rest of the company at an all-hands meeting. “[The NSFW ban] was going to happen anyway,” the former engineer told me. “Verizon pushed it out the door after the child pornography thing and made the deadline sooner,” but the real problem was always that Verizon couldn’t sell ads next to porn.”


…It’s all about money…

The people decimating the internet today, have never understood what the internet is fundamentally about.

The internet was founded upon counterculture…

…Many of us who have lived and thrived here on the internet, think that Verizon should take it’s ads, and it’s pursuit of money…and shove them all up it’s ass…and go get lost…permanently.