After years of decline, Tumblr reintroduces nudity to the platform in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy

Acting on the principle “if Twitter can, why can’t we?” Tumblr is once again accepting photos that depict nudity, only specifying that it cannot be pornography.

Like Twitter, Tumblr has done a poor job of uncontrollably limiting pornographic, including abusive, content on the platform. But unlike Twitter, Tumblr hasn’t had the wherewithal to convince that it can rein in abuse, with the platform’s administrators deciding as early as 2018 to ban all nudity on the platform. The slightly predictable result was that both those who post and those who appreciate this type of content quickly migrated to rival platforms, with Tumblr falling into oblivion rather quickly.

Returning to “better thoughts”, Tumblr administrators announced that they were revising the community guidelines section, allowing the uploading of photos depicting “nudity, mature scenes or sexual themes”, but excluding any “visual depictions of sexually explicit acts”. In other words, Tumblr creators would have to educate themselves very well to discern the subtle differences between the two categories of content, but even harder could be the task of contributors hired to moderate content, as Tumblr is now a platform whose content allows for sexual themes but not explicit sexual acts.

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Thus, according to the platform’s new rules, nude photos and sexual content are accepted, but only if they are labeled appropriately. In September, Tumblr announced a feature called “community tags,” allowing users to adjust their feeds to their “preferred comfort level” by setting the types of content they want to see. This week, the company said it expects users who post anything involving nudity or sexual content to tag it appropriately so that those who don’t want to see it can filter it out.

Basically, Tumblr is putting all the responsibility on content authors, who should properly tag their uploaded photos, stopping any examples that might upload rules out posting. In practice, the new rules appear more like an invitation for abuse, with the idea that the platform’s revenue will appear faster than potential penalties or legal action.

However, not to leave too much room for interpretation, Tumblr’s new content policy specifies that any accounts that:

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Distribute links or ads to networks or affiliates specializing in adult content.

Distribute links, text or images that promote or advertise escorts or erotic services.

Thus, those hoping to use Tumblr to promote their account on OnlyFans are liable to be blocked from the platform by simply mentioning that link.

After banning nudity in 2018, Tumblr lost about a third of its active users. However, the platform hasn’t fallen completely oblivious. Even in the year 2022, you can still find about 135 million monthly active users, few if you compare to networks like Instagram or Twitter, but still far from the condition of a “dying” social network. At the same time, according to data provided by the platform’s own administrators, 48% of Tumblr users are under 25 years old, which can only be encouraging for a future-oriented photo-sharing service. By comparison, almost 40% of Facebook users are over 65, and the network has become something of a taboo subject, actively avoided by younger audiences.

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