Tumblr & the policy change

This wasn’t the first full text post I was planning on writing… but here we are.

Here’s the tl;dr version:

  • Tumblr’s policy change is not good
  • Tumblr’s bot is *rubbish*
  • I will see how this thing shakes out, but might be moving my blog in the new year

So, for those who are currently under a rock, Tumblr is banning pornographic content. This shouldn’t technically have anything to do with my blog, but it has and probably will continue to do so.

The policy in of itself shouldn’t affect my content, as I’m writing about things that should be classifiable as art in their definition – I’ve done some reading, and it looks like they’re targeting IRL nudity and things bumping uglies. However, the bot they’ve had on the loose has flagged a good portion of my posts.

The bot

Out of 488 blogs, I had 30 flagged – this is about 6%. 20 of those I’d consider safe for work (SFW) and 10 of those I’d consider not safe for work (NSFW). My definition may vary from yours – I’m going largely by more European standards, so bikini figures are fine unless they’re posed sexually. Most ‘lolwat?’ blog that got flagged was this one about gachapon. Yes, that naked rabbit is really harmful to the community! Or was it the origami?

Out of all the flagged blogs, all but one passed review. I have no idea why the last one didn’t pass review – the figure that failed to pass was Melona by MegaHouse. If you’re reading this prior to the 17th, and OK with NSFW, the blog is available here. Was it the absurd genitalia? The slime? No idea. Certainly wasn’t the nudity, as all the other cast-off figures passed review just fine. I have a support ticket filed with Tumblr so I can get to the bottom of why this post was not OK – if I don’t get a reply to it then I’m definitely out – I don’t want to risk randomly losing the odd blog due to poor policy enforcement. I don’t think people will confuse Melona with a real life human, as per their policy… This policy being: “Don’t upload images, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples —this includes content that is so photorealistic that it could be mistaken for featuring real-life humans (nice try, though).

So in future, I can expect roughly 1-2 blogs a month to get erroneously flagged, with my chance being upped for a NSFW blog.

All of this is very irritating, as I’ll need to pretty much do daily checks to ensure nothing new gets flagged – before I could write a week or two’s content in advance and just leave the queue system to do its thing – I tend to write blogs in blocks, so it isn’t constantly consuming my time.

The community

Big thanks to you guys reading this! And those who have chosen to follow me. I don’t know how much the community will shrink, but if the effect is significant, I may as well move to self-hosting, whereby the content can’t be taken away from me by the platform itself. One of the reasons I stayed here was because I discovered how the tag system works, and it really does help drive traffic to my blog – but if a large amount of the community drifts off, then I may end up blogging to no-one again (I’m kind of a niche within a niche…), and I’ll be concerned for the longevity of the platform. If there are future troubles, I’d like to move before Tumblr’s owners question the longevity or start doing less-desirable things to try and sustain it.

Tumblr itself

In researching why Tumblr may have come to this decision to change their policy, I did discover some things I didn’t like. Certain issues were more prevalent than I thought, and this way of dealing with it feels very heavy-handed. They’ve kinda gone 0-100 in dealing with a very real problem. Part of me wants to distance myself from Tumblr for this reason too.

The future

As well as a potential reduction in the audience, there is no assurance that plastic titties may come under fire eventually – they’ve banned a significant section of the adult content, they may go even further in future to make this a family-friendly site. I don’t really want to split into two blogs – I don’t do NSFW blogs that often, so it really isn’t worth setting up a separate blog for those. I’m more than happy to tag/mark them as NSFW, but Tumblr is taking this away from us too – sensitive mode is going, because everything is family-friendly now. Wat? They’re allowing incidental chest shots and non-IRL nudity, but no way of marking these things so that people who don’t want to see it can’t hide it? I… wat. All of my wat. So now you REALLY can’t look at Tumblr in a work/public situation as there’s no hope for hiding the 18+ content that is still allowed.

Currently I’m writing blogs daily or in small batches (less than 5/time), due to my uncertainty. If I do decide to move the blog, I will blog about it though, and update links on my profiles elsewhere. If anyone knows of a site where my blog would fit in, and is OK with cast-off figures, I’d appreciate the suggestions. Many of the suggestions I’ve seen are for adult-orientated sites (so the bulk of my content wouldn’t fit in) or one that isn’t launched yet (but does look promising).

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