News broke today that the online platform Tumblr is banning all adult and Not Safe For Work (NSFW) content beginning 17 December.
The decision follows the app getting banned from the Apple iOS Store after child pornography content made it past Tumblr’s filters and ended up on the site.
CEO Jeff D’Onofrio posted a long statement about the decision, leaving many unimpressed.
Tumblr was also seen as a place for LGBTI people to express themselves, share their art, and form a community. Many are discussing the specific harm this does to LGBTI users.
Numerous celebrities, artists, and activists have taken to Twitter to express their disappointment in the decision.
What are they saying?
Olympic athlete Gus Kenworthy has been vocal following the announcement.
He took a screenshot of the new policy and jokingly tweeted: ‘If anybody wants to hang out after December 17th my schedule just totally opened up…’
If anybody wants to hang out after December 17th my schedule just totally opened up… pic.twitter.com/eLmnHEJMHp
— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) December 3, 2018
Comedy actor Billy Eichner simply asked Tumblr to ‘reconsider’.
.@tumblr please reconsider
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) December 3, 2018
YouTuber and creator Hannah Hart asked if nothing was sacred anymore. She also pointed out the policy includes illustrations — even if artists depict nudity or sexual acts in an artistic way.
@hizzlegizzle have you seen this?? "Any media involving sex acts including illustrations" – omg?? Is deviant art about to make a come back??
— Hannah Hart (@harto) December 3, 2018
Free the nipple
One of the things Tumblr will be banning in its upcoming overhault are ‘female-presenting nipples’.
This has been a problem before on various social media platforms. Instagram also bans female nipples, which non-binary actor Bex Taylor-Klaus recently experienced.
Even if the nipple in question is not being presented in a sexual manner, if it is ‘female-presenting’, it will be banned.
Many people criticized this specific aspect on Twitter.
Trans activist Charlotte Clymer, who works for the Human Rights Campaign, wrote about it.
Tumblr is banning content that displays "female-presenting nipples" but if you present as male and show your nipples, all is well.
Do these people think there aren't folks who find male nipples erotic?
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️⚧️🇺🇦 (@cmclymer) December 3, 2018
Then she jokingly tweeted about this fight uniting the Democratic party.
Lesbian YouTuber Stephanie Frosch also mocked the decision.
Tumblr 2011: “We’re a fun platform providing a space space for marganilized groups while encouraging their freedom of expression!”
Tumblr 2018: pic.twitter.com/DGuI80mtbl
— Steph Frosch (@ElloSteph) December 3, 2018
Rosie Fletcher compared Tumblr to Twitter and the numerous user complaints both platforms have received.
Others wondered at the crackdown on nipples, automatically equating this part of a woman’s body with sexual/graphic content, while not censoring other content such as swastikas, other neo-Nazi imagery and phrases, violence, and more.
Chance the Rapper wrote the content these platforms do allow is ‘terrible for my mental and fucking up how I value human life’.
They banning nipples on tumblr but im seeing people get murdered graphically every day on this app. Like real snuff videos, non related to police shootings. Wtf yo. That shit honestly terrible for my mental and fucking up how I value human life. Help? @TwitterSupport
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) December 3, 2018