Technologies

A “dead” platform or an evolving “weird” community: what happened to Tumblr a year after banning porn

A variety of content has become smaller, but the service is supported by representatives of fandoms.

It’s been almost a year since Tumblr banned adult content. The ban hit traffic – authors of erotic content and users who needed the service only for porn left. Despite the decline, the site remained an active community with fandom, memes and local jokes, noted in The Atlantic.

Fandoms and Memes Left Without Tumblr Porn

Scientist Luca Aiello (Luca Aiello) emphasized that users actively interacted with erotic content, and its ban determined the decline of Tumblr. In 2017, Yahoo’s research team, which then owned Tumblr, published a porn work on the site. The group came to the conclusion that such content is “widely distributed throughout the service”, and its creators “have a large number of links” with authors of non-erotic content. They noted that the average user is subscribed to two or three porn accounts.

According to SimilarWeb analytics service, from 2018 to 2019, the number of unique visitors to Tumblr fell by 21%, traffic on the authorization page in the USA – by 49%, the number of active users in the application during the day – by 35%. At the same time, Tumblr owners add new features – in November they introduced group chats and pages with interest tags.

Tumblr users themselves do not agree that the platform is “dead.” On December 2, the Fandometrics blog published a list of the most popular topics on the site, which included studies, The Sims, cats, dogs, reptiles, fitness, fandoms and memes. In 2019, Tumblr picked up jokes about storming Zone 51 , announced a Minecraft renaissance, praised Keanu Reeves, and revived the “wrong quotes” from Facebook.

Fandoms are most actively developing in the service – the authors of the content on the series “Good Signs”, the BTS group and Marvel projects have become the most popular. The second most popular person on the platform is Taylor Swift, which is supported by a large Tumblr fan base. Through her blog, she unleashed a media war with a new owner of the rights to her old albums. Journalists monitored her activity in the service and referred to her profile in the service.

Amanda Brennan, the author of the Fandometrics blog, noted that after the prohibition of erotic content, there really was a decline, but she didn’t notice much difference: “Tumblr is very fandom oriented and users are still doing strange things here and will chipper characters and other people.” In addition, the application is now safe to open in public places, Brennan notes.

“Tumbler-Apocalypse” and the loss of audience

Problems with filtering content on Tumblr began after the spread of child pornography in the system – the algorithm could not cope with its work. Because of this, in November 2018, the application was removed from the App Store, and soon a ban on erotic content was announced on the platform . The media suggested that the decision was related to an attempt to make the service more attractive to advertisers. In addition, after the dismissal of part of the staff, the team probably did not have enough resources to support only “safe” porn. In social networks, it was called the “tambler apocalypse.”

On December 17, 2018, porn was banned on the service – it was forbidden to publish images of the genitals of real people, female nipples and sexual acts. Artistic or educational images became exceptions, but not in the case when they “can be confused with real” erotic pictures.

Then Tumblr introduced an algorithm that was supposed to recognize porn in the pictures. However, instead of clearing the service of porn bots and spam ads, he noted objects remotely resembling a human figure. Artists who used erotic tags attracted unwanted algorithmic attention to their work. Soon, these tags were blocked. By March, the site lost 30% of the audience.

Too hot for tumblr

In August, Verizon sold Tumblr to WordPress owner Automattic for less than $ 20 million – although in 2013 Yahoo bought the service for $ 1.1 billion. Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg has confirmed to The Verge that porn has been banned due to Apple and Google requirements for in-app content. In an interview with The New York Times, he admitted problems with filtering innocent content that contains sexual content and emphasized that such errors must be eliminated.

Without porn, there was a “noticeable hole”

The author of the popular Animated Text blog, Cat Frazier, told The Atlantic that after banning porn on the site, there were fewer diverse content and adult topics: “I was never subscribed to porn accounts, but many people left my subscriptions, angry with the platform because of the ban. After that, a noticeable hole remained. “A month ago I was flipping through my feed and noticed that about a hundred profiles had not published anything since the time of the ban.”

I see the same memes on Tumblr as on any other platform. People have been reposting the same thing since 2014. I understand that many used the service only for porn. But even they had something to share when they did not masturbate.

Kat Fraser

author of the blog “Animated Text”

Porn director Vex Ashley said goodbye to the service, stressing that Tumblr porn was an aesthetic and artistic “part of life”, not something that “I want to immediately remove from the browser’s history”.

The author of the Critique My Dick Pic blog, Madeleine Holden, ceased to lead him after the ban on porn. However, most of her posts have not been deleted – they simply added a warning about sensitive materials to her account .

“I still receive letters stating that my publications were marked as containing adult content. They’ll probably send me 500 more, ”Holden told The Atlantic. She published comic reviews of pictures with dikpiks of women, non-binary people and representatives of different nationalities: “The blog attracted a community of not slippery people at all. There transgender people could find support and encouragement. ”

Tumblr culture has almost become a joke. There is a certain degree of social justice that people call “Tumbler”. Service users are confident in their beliefs, especially about sex.

Madeline Holden

blog author Critique My Dick Pic

The publication notes that Tumblr can still be funny and weird, and on the Internet there is no better place to be on the fandom, to explore your gender identity or to launch post-meronical memes.

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