Why Tumblr’s Content Ban Hurts us All

Tumblr released the bad news to the Internet two weeks ago, in a blog post titled “A better, more positive Tumblr”. Jeff D’Onofrio, the CEO of Tumblr made the announcement that Tumblr will ban all adult content on December 17th, 2018.

This comes as no surprise to anyone that has been following the Tumblr story the last few years. Tumblr was always the rebel of the content world. It allowed you to post anything you wanted, no censorship and no filters. It was the best and worst of the Internet all in one. For what it was, it was glorious.

Then Yahoo came along and dropped the big acquisition news. If you were a big user of either Flickr or Delicious, you knew right away this was bad news. Yahoo promised to keep Tumblr the same, but we all knew better. When Yahoo got sold to Verizon to be part of their content play “Oath”, the vultures started circling.

What We’ve Lost

All the headlines you’ve been reading the past couple weeks will leave you to believe this is about a ban on porn. It is not. Porn is widely available anywhere, from any corner of the Internet. If you seriously can’t find it, you need to work on your Googling skills.

This is a ban on freedom of expression and censorship at its worst. There are tens of thousands of blogs that fit the NSFW label but are in a realm that is so important to the expression of humankind.

A transitioning man or woman, sharing their transformative journey from one sex to another is not offensive. The story needs to be told and more importantly, needs to be herd.

The young man struggling with the trials and tribulations of coming out, may cross some NSFW boundaries, but why shouldn’t he be able to share his experiences?

The artist who draws men and woman without clothing, with exceptional creative abilities, should not be labeled as porn. Their artwork can be an expression of the world around them and their vision of the world.

These are but a small handful of examples that put adult content in that figurative grey zone. I completely agree that they are not SFW (Safe for Work), but does this content really belong in the same group as PornHub?

No Place Left to Go

These content creators are running out of places to go. Each platform has their own content restrictions, and the lines are blurry. Twitter’s content policy is an absolute mystery, and I’m not even going to get into it. Facebook does not allow any nudity, period.

Medium is doing a good job of allowing people to tell their story. A great example is Kira Wertz. Kira is telling her story in her own way. While I’m sure there are details getting left out to keep it SFW, I’m happy she is able to get her voice heard.

Where all of these fall short, is the post all medium that people originally loved about Tumblr. If you want to just post a photo or video, Medium is not the right place. If you want to post it on Instagram or Facebook, double make sure it’s SFW supreme, or the content police will come after you.

Let’s Try This Again

I believe in freedom of speech and expression so much that I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is. Myself and a few friends are starting a new content platform, one with fewer rules.

1180px will launch on January 1, 2019

The platform is called 1180px and will launch on January 1st, 2019.

We’re not trying to compete with Medium, Twitter, Facebook or any other platform you’re thinking of. Those platforms are great for what they are and the community around them. Our focus is on creative expression and freedom.

Please sign up for early access and most importantly, give us feedback. We appreciate the feedback and take each request seriously.


Originally published at Chris Blackwell’s Domain.