Friday, February 1, 2019

Tumblr policy

Early last month Tumblr announced that it would begin flagging “adult content” for removal, giving bloggers little notice before their posts disappeared, and leaving many in marginalized communities (sex workers, LGBTQ, etc.) without a platform. This change was expected to be in the works since Verizon acquired the company a year and a half ago, and fast-tracked after Apple temporarily removed Tumblr from it’s App Store in the fall. 

The ban has been roundly criticized as too strict and poorly executed (and for popularizing the phrase “female presenting nipples”). The automated process leaves little room for grey areas. 

Their stated policy does outline an exception for artworks: “nudity found in art, such as sculptures and illustrations, are also stuff that can be freely posted on Tumblr.” But today I found a list of posts deemed inappropriate, already 'hidden' from other users. 

Ulay’s erection I might understand, but Marcel Duchamp's foam breast book cover? Adrian Piper’s all-text business card? Andy Warhol’s illustration of a cherub for a 1951 novel? 

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