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Tumblr defends controversial porn ban despite 20 per cent drop in traffic



Tumblr has said it does not regret its decision to ban adult content despite a fifth of its users deserting the blogging platform.

The so-called porn ban came into effect on 17 December, provoking widespread criticism from its users. Many argued that the ban targeted LGBT, sex-positive and NSFW art communities.

“We made a strategic decision for the business that better positions it for long-term growth among more types of users,” a Tumblr spokesperson told The Independent. “This was the right decision.”

Visits to Tumblr’s website fell from 521 million in December to 437 million in January, figures from data analytics firm SimilarWeb revealed earlier this week.

Many of those deserting the platform were likely part of a movement known as the “log off” protest, which formed as a result of the ban and end encouraged people to leave the site.

Tumblr’s traffic fell by around 20 per cent since adult content was banned on its platform (Statista)

The discovery of child sexual abuse imagery on some blogs helped prompt the content policy change but those against the ban said it was a suppression of free speech, rather than a crackdown on illegal content.

The ban covers “photos, videos, or Gifs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content – including photos, videos, Gifs and illustrations – that depict sex acts.”

An online petition to reverse the ban has received more than 600,000 signatures.

“Stop it,” the petition states. “Let people post porn, it’s 90 per cent of the reason anybody is on the site in the first place.”

Tumblr had previously stated that it hoped to remain a platform for marginalised communities and LGBT conversations.

“Tumblr will always be a place to explore your identity,” Tumblr said. 

“We fully recognise Tumblr’s special obligation to these communities and are committed to ensuring that our new policy on adult content does not silence the vital conversations that take place here everyday.”



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