Tumblr’s ban on adult content went into effect Monday, and it didn’t take long for users to bare their naked thoughts on the move.The blogging platform announced the change Dec. 3 in a post titled “A better, more positive Tumblr.” On Monday, a new post apologized for what the site admitted has “not been an easy transition.” Flagged content will be hidden, not deleted, the site reported.”Written content such as erotica, nudity related to political or newsworthy speech, and nudity found in art, specifically sculptures and illustrations, is also stuff that can be freely posted on Tumblr,” the post says. “Although, photorealistic imagery or photography – images, videos, or GIFs — with real humans that include exposed genitals or female-presenting (yeah, we know you hate this term) nipples or depict sex acts is not allowed per our guidelines.”Breastfeeding and nudity in art are still OK to post. Users quickly found flaws in Tumblr’s implementation of the ban. Some found tricks to get around the flagging process, others saw legitimate content hidden.Asked for comment, Tumblr referred CNET back to the Dec. 3 and Dec. 17 posts, as well as the site’s posted updates to its community guidelines. Tags Images Tumblr users said were incorrectly hidden include:Photos of cats, birds and rocks: Things that were flagged on @tumblr: -Smoke art-BNHA fanart-A field of flowers-woman in cosplay-leather boots-men kissing-A puppy-Fat sphinx catThings that weren’t flagged: -75% of the nsfw content on my side blog-Bots-Literal NAZISFIX YOUR SHIT TUMBLR.#TumblrLogOff— Snow F. (@SnowySpaceship) December 17, 2018 A pixelated Pokemon: FREE THE FEMALE PRESENTING NIPPLE #tumblrprotest pic.twitter.com/u90s08qiXc— bukkake bitch (@bipolarhippy) December 14, 2018 Post a comment #tumblrprotest if you are boycotting tomorrow make sure to pass the plan around pic.twitter.com/4pXpsp23RK— Angharad Griffiths (@Angiepose) December 16, 2018 Too late. You blew it #TumblrIsDeadParty #nsfw #tumblrpurge pic.twitter.com/PagEG2QOIr— xstumbl (@xstumbl) December 12, 2018 I’m doing #TumblrLogOff because their idiotic algorithm thought a text post with a single pixelated pokemon was NSFW. Thanks @tumblr, your already nigh-unusable site just got worse!— Duke (@laangdons) December 17, 2018 Anyways tumblr is dead to me because they flagged these set of pictures pic.twitter.com/eqjED9mVTH— 🌙 litchi 🌙 (@suicunepng) December 16, 2018 This cosplay tutorial: In a fairly meta move, some people posted their Tumblr issues on Tumblr itself.Although the ban may have been well-intentioned, many users clearly disagreed with how it was implemented. #Tumblr how’s this for female presenting nipples #tumblrlogoff pic.twitter.com/PRNm2eoTiv— Momo (@AS_Flow_MoMo) December 17, 2018 I’m officially off #Tumblr for the next 24hrs in protest of their new policy changes that do nothing to stop porn bots & child predators but do harm artists, gamers, social justice blogs, body positivy blogs & many others #TumblrLogOff— LevelUpLynn 🦄 (@LevelUpLynn) December 17, 2018 hey @tumblr maybe you might want to listen to the people using your site, and actually ban literal nazis and pedophiles instead of “female-presenting nipples” and content you’ve deemed “nsfw” (how the fuck is my aesthetic picture of a pool nsfw?) #tumblrprotest #tumblrpurge— december chrimms time babeys 🙂 (@AgentAngelace) December 17, 2018 0 Today, we mourn the loss of female presenting nipples, but celebrate their legacy.. #tumblr— 🧛🏻♀️Nicole Maines🧛🏻♀️ (@NicoleAMaines) December 17, 2018 “…female-presenting (yeah, we know you hate the term) nipples…”……well that doesn’t sound patronizing at all…. #TumblrLogOff #Tumblr https://t.co/E4mHjR4ulj— RecordRewind (@record_rewind) December 17, 2018 And even Tumblr’s own post announcing the ban: A photo of a pool: First published Dec. 17, 11:18 a.m. PT. Update, Dec. 17 at 11:57 a.m. PT: Adds response from Tumblr.Update, Dec, 17 at 12:17 p.m. PT: Adds Tumblr user posts relating to ban. Prudishness aside, can we address the hyphen? It implies the nipples are presenting the females.— Sad Lieutenant (@unocajone) December 17, 2018 An ancient Egyptian tomb: maybe the real female-presenting nipples were the friends we met along the way pic.twitter.com/UdyMRZoCzV— Animated Text (@animatedtext) December 10, 2018 not the best look for tumblr to try cutesily distancing itself from “female-presenting nipples” while actually doubling down on it pic.twitter.com/nCQnHLLUgC— Rave Sashayed (@_sashayed) December 17, 2018 A man’s chest, but not when next to an owl: A sleepy penguin: #Tumblr just flagged as “adult” this post I published relative to the recent archaeological discovery in Egypt … pic.twitter.com/nqARBqEcMf— bittenapple (@bittenapple) December 16, 2018 YOU FLAGGED A PICTURE OF MISTER ROGERS AND A MAILMAN!That is all. #TumblrProtest— Kaylee Fuhr (@KayleeFuhr) December 17, 2018 The term “female-presenting nipples,” mentioned in the Tumblr post about images that aren’t allowed, came in for special ridicule from users, especially for the way the site acknowledged the term was problematic. the problem isn’t that We Hate That Term;), although it’s stupid and we do, it’s that the whole idea that the female body is inherently sexual is Fucked Up And Bad, yall— Rave Sashayed (@_sashayed) December 17, 2018 Hashtags including #TumblrLogOff, #TumblrPurge, #TumblrIsDeadParty and #TumblrProtest objected to the way the changes were being implemented, and some urged users to stay off the site for 24 hours in protest. My most popular #cosplay tutorial was flagged on Tumblr as inappropriate… What are they smoking over there? pic.twitter.com/OpgWOTQRoN— Quinn-tessential (@HorrorShadows) December 17, 2018 #tumblr #tumblrisdeadparty”We did it! We fixed our site by deleting all the porn!” pic.twitter.com/fu8fmkZ3eV— Takashi Shirogane (@Starry_Paladin) December 3, 2018 Signed out of @Tumblr for 24 hours. If they’re going to crash and sink their own ship, might as well make it go ALL THE WAY DOWN. #TumblrIsDeadParty— Merry Impmas (@ImperfectXIII) December 17, 2018 So here’s something. Users are testing the limits of Tumblr’s new algorithm that flags adult content (aka “censorbot”). This one found that a man’s chest was flagged, but a man’s chest next a 50% scale owl went unnoticed. Things seem to be going greathttps://t.co/FU1MudA0K9 pic.twitter.com/Tmm0JyPWJC— Chappell Ellison ٩( ᐛ )و✎ (@ChappellTracker) December 7, 2018 #tumblrpurge remember when THEIR OWN POST ANNOUNCING THE BAN WAS FLAGGEDYeahThe only people arguing that #tumblr staff know what theyre doing is the staff themselves #tumblrban #tumblrpurge #tumblrboycott pic.twitter.com/o8sAlcIP2r— Team True Alpha ⭕️ (@VOlDlAS) December 17, 2018 Share your voice Mister Rogers and a mailman (was it Mr. “Speedy Delivery” McFeely?): Pictures of my cat and photos of birds and rocks got flagged but i still had to block four porn bots yesterday #TumblrIsDeadParty #Tumblr— European Gay Disaster Girl (@kissesgrell) December 17, 2018 The items on this list, which includes “a puppy” and “leather boots”: tumblr users: “hey guys, if you could do something about the pedophiles, porn bots, and white supremacists, that would be great.”tumblr staff: “ban the female nipple but let the nazis stay. got it. 👌”users: “no, that’s not what–”staff: “w e g o t i t 👌👌👌”#TumblrLogOff— beam me up, guy (@cali4niaenglsh) December 17, 2018 this just in: porn bots on tumblr are evading being flagged/taken down by just straight up tagging their sexy posts as ‘SFW’ and it workslike, this is some Looney Tunes shit 2018 pic.twitter.com/JdnP8aoMcL— Girls and Gay (@InsomniaArrest) December 11, 2018 Online Pornography Tumblr
In times of trouble, you can count on the Internet to make it worse.As riots tore through parts of Baltimore in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, Twitter users took to the service to urge calm and pray people stayed safe. However, one group tried to use the service to amp up the outrage and urge people to steal and destroy.Using the hashtag #baltimorelootcrew, people began posting images of destroyed restaurants, shoes they said were stolen, and prescription pills they said had grabbed. A group of masked young Black men holding bats and chains showed off seemingly stolen laptops and sneakers with the caption “li jo n da crew wid that newnew loot #BaltimoreLootCrew”Let us take a moment here to acknowledge that even while there are horrible events taking place, a certain segment of society has always enjoyed trying to make it worse. Think of prank calls while breaking news is taking place. No matter what is happening, there is someone bored looking to make themselves and their friends laugh by humiliating someone.Last week was Baltimore’s turn. The pictures and tweets were put together by a group of trolls who, essentially thought it would be funny to portray a group of loosely organized semi-literate Black thugs who went out and stole sneakers while the city convulsed. They gathered on messageboards with names like 8chan that are dedicated to discussing video games and Japanese anime. As the journalist Eoghan mac Suibhne wrote on Medium.com many if not all of the images posted with #BaltimoreLootCrew were not not pictures from the riot, they were from different parts of the world.A picture of a bunch of cosmetics spilled on the floor had the caption “Got back from the protests, and I hauled it in 2nite! Wont need 2 buy makeup for 2yrs, at least! #BaltimoreLootCrew.” Suibhne found that the picture had been online for at least two years. A destroyed KFC with the caption “me n da niggas just cleard out da kfc #BaltimoreLootCrew free wings 2 night.” That picture, according to Suibhne, was taken in Pakistan in 2012. As for “li jo n da crew,” they were actually British and the picture was taken overseas.Articles on Gawker and Motherboard showed that a small group of racists from the message board 8chan.com had been behind most of the #BaltimoreLootCrew messages. During Hurricane Sandy, the similar hashtag #SandyLootCrew made the rounds and is believed to be the work of the same individuals. Many people who responded did so in good faith and said they were going to report the posting and images to the police while several news organizations took them at face value and wrote about them. An article on the National Review web site entitled, “What Are Baltimore’s Rioters Trying to Communicate?” used the hashtag to note, “Under the hashtag “#BaltimoreLootCrew,” rioters have been posting photographs of their prizes. At least one user – who yesterday posted a picture of four new iPhone 6s – has suspended his account.”This is not to say there wasn’t damage and looting during the riots. There was plenty across several parts of Baltimore including Fells Point. What is distressing is the ease with which people believe this sort of thing happens. Baltimore is better than that. One example is the homegrown #Onebaltimore, which is been listed on businesses, church, and school signs throughout the city. At a rally on Sunday at City Hall hundreds of people gathered under that banner to sing, chant, dance, and rally peacefully.Kamau High is a journalist living in Baltimore. He has written for publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Billboard and The Baltimore Sun. He can be reached at email@example.com.