Photo: Getty

On Monday, Tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio announced a policy change with the intention of making the platform a “better, more positive” place. On December 17th, Tumblr, which is owned by Verizon under its Oath Inc subsidiary, will begin enforcing a ban of all adult content. Many people were quick to criticize the move—which will eliminate what has come to be a thriving, inclusive space to be creative and horny.

The new policy, which goes into effect next month, bans “images, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples—this includes content that is so photorealistic that it could be mistaken for featuring real-life humans (nice try, though).” Tumblr’s Community Guidelines does note that this won’t include “certain types of artistic, educational, newsworthy, or political content featuring nudity,” but it does include any content “that depicts sex acts.”

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D’Onofrio said in his Tumblr post that the company will lean on “automated tools to identify adult content and humans to help train and keep our systems in check.” He acknowledged that this system has yet to prove itself a perfect mechanism for flagging and removing violating content. “We know there will be mistakes, but we’ve done our best to create and enforce a policy that acknowledges the breadth of expression we see in the community,” he wrote.

Last month, Tumblr was unexpectedly made unavailable from Apple’s app store, and users who posted adult content said that their blogs were abruptly deleted. Initially, neither Oath nor Apple commented on the sudden disappearance, but an update on Tumblr’s official help page seemingly tied it to “child sexual abuse material”—that is, child pornography—found on the platform.

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It’s hard to imagine a Tumblr stripped of its horniness—porn blogs and users promoting their adult content became a cornerstone of the platform, and a study from early last year found that young women dominate the platform, many of which are looking for porn. It’s unfortunate that the company appears to be enforcing such a sweeping response to an insular, albeit very serious, issue. Sanitizing the platform is a shame, for its dedicated fanbase, its diverse creators, and the internet at large.

RIP Tumblr. You had a nice run.

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