New Tumblr Guidelines
Tumblr announced Monday that it would be implementing new changes regarding NSFW content effective Dec. 17.
The new guidelines will mean that the platform will start to flag any post that violates its new guidelines. This means GIFs or video that depict a sexual act, as well as full-frontal nudity and “female-presenting nipples” will be flagged and won’t be visible to anyone except the original poster.
The guidelines also say that nudity for educational or protest purposes as well as non-sexual illustrations will not be flagged. So this sounds pretty ok and non-problematic, right? Wrong.
Inherent Algorithmic Issues
In particular, Tumblr is flagging completely innocent posts and re-posts. Nevertheless, this seems more likely to be more of a result of the algorithm’s incompetence versus a deliberate measure on Tumblr’s part.
Additionally, LGBTQ+ posts are reportedly being flagged, causing unhappiness for users. Not only this, but other family-friendly content marked explicit seems to be the result of the algorithm’s incompetence versus a deliberate measure on Tumblr’s part.
These developments are worrying, to say the least. Flagged content appears on the dashboard as of now. However, this is a warning for when guidelines drop.
So far, users are unhappy with the announcement and with the changes. Wil Wheaton posted one example of what the new changes mean. He conducted a search for “beautiful men kissing,” which was flagged as explicit “within 30 seconds of me posting it.” And this is just one example. We’ll see how things progress.
In summary, we at Word of the Nerd are taking this news seriously as content has been flagged. As such we have decided to discontinue posting to Tumblr. This is a decision we didn’t take likely but one we feel is necessary in order for us to continue posting content without worrying about censorship.