As you may have heard by now, Tumblr has announced new community guidelines that prohibit nudity, sex acts, and of all things “female-presenting nipples”. You might be wondering why. That’s easy. I pulled out the relevant lines from this long article about the decision.
in June 2017, Yahoo was acquired by Verizon for its ad business
Simon explicitly said that Black Lives Matter was an opportunity to [make] a ton of money.
the real problem was always that Verizon couldn’t sell ads next to porn.
Porn on Tumblr is something Verizon needs to wipe out if it’s going to make any money off what it thinks is actually valuable about the platform
I think the most important point is that they can’t sell ads next to porn, which is any public portrayal of or discussion about sexual activity (and given how random the algorithms they’ve devised to detect “porn” are, it seems to be anything vaguely like people doing anything), or anything Verizon can’t figure out how to monetize. They seem to be pouring more money into sanitizing Tumblr than they ever did on just maintaining the site, and right now there are all kinds of people sadly announcing that their blogs were shut down or photos were flagged or that they’re suddenly finding themselves censured for building fandoms of consenting adults because insurance companies and auto dealers don’t want to advertise on their sites.
Their unique brand was that they allowed sex workers, women, LGBTQ folk, and random niche fandoms to thrive, and yet recently people were getting concerned about “what they were going to do about the influx of alt right users, pedophilic users, and inappropriate bots that would appear in tags that were meant to cater to underage users,” so what did the staff do? They lashed out at the sex workers, women, LGBTQ folk, and random niche fandoms, rather than the alt right users. Curious. They’re willing to take draconian actions that alienate the people who’ve been using their medium for years, and have been investing resources in scrubbing out “female-presenting nipples”. Which raises a significant question.
Why aren’t any of the major social media sites taking similarly severe action to purge their sites of Nazis?
I mean, they always make excuses about free speech and not wishing to antagonize their dedicated user base. But porn is also free speech, and Tumblr is certainly turning away a significant number of contributors (to the point they’re going to destroy their own niche), so none of those excuses is operative. If the choice is to keep nipples or Nazis, wouldn’t most people choose nipples?
I guess Nazis are easier to monetize.