Microblogging site Tumblr has announced plans to ban all pornographic content from its platform, in a massive crackdown after child pornography was uncovered.
From December 17, explicit adult content and most nudity will no longer be allowed on the site, with some non-sexual exceptions, such as a woman’s nipple while breastfeeding and health-related situations.
Owners of blogs with pornographic content were previously obliged to add an age-restricted ‘safe mode’, which would warn users that the blog they had selected may contain sensitive material.
“Over the past several months, and inspired by our storied past, we’ve given serious thought to who we want to be to our community moving forward and have been hard at work laying the foundation for a better Tumblr,” said Jeff D’Onofrio, chief executive of Tumblr.
“We spent considerable time weighing the pros and cons of expression in the community that includes adult content.
“In doing so, it became clear that without this content we have the opportunity to create a place where more people feel comfortable expressing themselves.”
Tumblr, owned by Yahoo parent Oath, said it would email affected blogs informing them of the changes.
“While some of the content on these blogs may now be in violation of our policies and will be actioned accordingly, the blog owners may choose to post content that is within our policies in the future, so we’d like to provide that option,” a post on its community guidelines explained.
Written content such as erotica, nudity related to political or newsworthy speech, and nudity found in art will also be exempt from the changes.
The move comes after Tumblr’s app was pulled from Apple’s App Store mid-November because of images depicting child sex abuse.
The social network and microblogging platform initially said it was “working to resolve the issue with the iOS app” when it mysteriously disappeared on November 16.
It later emerged that Tumblr was removed from the store due to child pornography getting past the site’s filters, prompting the site to provide more details about its disappearance.
Tumblr scans content posted onto the platform against an industry database of known abuse material, which prevents images from being uploaded. However, the company revealed that it had discovered some content that had not yet been included in the industry database.