Why Did Tumblr Ban Porn?

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Why Tumblr banned porn.
Tumblr’s late-2018 decision to ban porn on their platform hit the internet in the gut like a 99-cent spicy bean and cheese burrito from Taco Bell. As in, it hurt…a lot. Plenty of Tumblr’s users went to the site principally or exclusively to get their freak on — by perusing random nudes, following specific producers whose content they liked, or both.

There were murmurs of discontent all over the web when the Tumblr porn ban was announced, with promises commonly heard to cut the site off cold turkey if the ban actually went into effect. It was a threat that became reality with many, as Tumblr had lost over 30% of its traffic within just a few months of becoming pornsona-non-grata. Let’s talk about this seismic shift in online adult entertainment, its consequences, and just why Tumblr banned porn.

ATTENTION: It was probably the most disturbing Tumblr event since that dress whose color nobody could agree on. The big T banned porn, and we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly why it happened, and what happens now.

Details of Tumblr’s Porn Ban

The ban itself was pretty comprehensive. It forbade any kind of media on Tumblr that portrayed sex acts, exposed anyone’s genitalia, or showed “female-presenting” nipples. As you can imagine, that new standard pretty much neutered all the “interesting” Tumblr blogs that so many of us internet pervs had grown to love (and launch loads to).

Related: How much money do Pornstars make?

Technically, erotic stories consisting of only text (no naughty pictures) were still allowed, so porn seekers could seek relief on Tumblr if they were willing to do some reading. And of course, wouldn’t you know it, no sooner had the ban gone live than users started reporting that it was being selectively enforced, with some people getting away with being as naughty as you please, while others had the hammer brought down on them with the full fury of Torquemada.

Altogether, though, it just wasn’t enough – as I noted, Tumblr lost nearly a third of its visitors after it did this.

But let’s not forget, it wasn’t just the adult-content-consuming public that got nut-checked by the Tumblr porn ban. A lot of people in adult entertainment had relied on the site for at least a portion of their business. Sex workers, especially cam models, sugar babies, and of course pornstars, used Tumblr extensively as a marketing device and just to keep in touch with their fans. Many adult webmasters maintained quite a few porn blogs on Tumblr, as well.

More: How To Make a Porn Website

Losing T&A content on this platform was merely annoying for the general public; for those in the adult industry, it was a blow to their livelihood. And, frankly, to people who had been doing very well after putting in years of hard work on those blogs and profiles, it was a pretty dick move. I mean, come on: Tumblr didn’t even bother to warn these guys and girls, to at least give them time to prepare for the hit and establish an off-site presence. They just cut their boys off. Really?

Before the porn ban, Tumblr had been an invaluable marketing and traffic tool for webcam models, porn actresses, and adult webmasters.

The reasons Tumblr banned porn have to do with the typical posting violations that pretty much every social media platform has to deal with, whether they allow adult content or not. Some accounts were caught posting unacceptable stuff, so the management at Tumblr decided to just ban all explicit content.

A lot of people suspect this is merely an excuse to take a broom to the platform and make it “family-friendly,” which Tumblr’s leadership may believe is a more profitable business strategy.

But banning all porn entirely? Isn’t that going just a bit overboard? I mean, it’s like cordoning off all the gazebos in the park and refusing to rent them out or let anybody use them, all on account of the fact that you found out a few drug deals had gone down in some of them.

It’s like taking down the volleyball nets on a clothing-mandatory beach and telling everybody they’re not allowed to play anymore, because a few hippies had gotten too high on the bong and decided to go for a nude game.

It’s…aw, hell, let’s just go with the classic: It’s throwing the baby out with the freaking bathwater.

 

The Future of Porn on Tumblr

After the announcement was made, Tumblr’s CEO tried to downplay the move. He basically said the Tumblr porn ban was no big deal, since there were plenty of other places online for people who wanted porn to get it. Well, yes, that’s certainly true, but there was just something about the way Tumblr served up the naughty gifs that gave pervy loins that special kind of tingle. It had become a fave daily “smut check” for millions.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. There’s been talk from Mindgeek of possibly buying out Tumblr. Mindgeek, as you may or may not be aware, is the parent company of none other than PornHub (and many other huge porn tubes), so we can be reasonably sure that the porn ban would get tossed pretty quick if they took over. This would be freaking awesome for just about everybody if it were to happen; sex workers and webmasters would get their playground back, and we’d regain what was an amazing place to find porn.

According to published reports, the management at Mindgeek, which owns several of the largest porn tube sites, is seriously interested in acquiring Tumblr. This would, almost certainly, result in a lifting of the ban on porn.

Even without Tumblr, though, online adult entertainment lives on. The people in the industry, by and large, have already moved on to greener pastures. One such field that I really like is OnlyFans, which is an up-and-coming social media site, owned by MyFreeCams, that has become something of a haven for Tumblr porn refugees.

That’s because, as social media goes, OnlyFans is pretty downright friendly to adult content providers. It does require that front-page material visible on a user’s header and profile be clean, with no NSFW pics allowed, but – and here’s why OnlyFans is awesome – it lets you monetize your account.

More: How To Make Money on OnlyFans…

What this means is that you can set up a pay wall to access all the stuff not on the front page of your account, and behind this pay wall, you can post just about anything you want (so long as it’s not illegal or totally extreme, obviously). This is a dream come true for, let’s say, cam models and pornstars, who can offer up (sell, really) explicit content on their OnlyFans account for a monthly subscription price that they set.

OnlyFans is also designed to integrate with Twitter, which makes it easy to direct Twitter followers to your OnlyFans account. Again, awesome news for the adult entertainment girls. Many of them will have a strong, well-established Twitter presence, so the ability to carry that over is a huge plus.

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So, whether the Tumblr porn situation straightens itself out or not, I suspect everything is going to be fine. OnlyFans is still pretty new right now, but over time, it has the potential to become a better platform for sex workers than Tumblr ever was. The significance of being able to monetize your content simply can’t be overstated. OnlyFans has already become popular with some big-name pornstars; before long, I think all sorts of people in the adult industry will be using it.

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