Tumblr Is Pushing Porn Into an Internet Sex Ghetto

Since Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer began circling around Tumblr's billion dollar GIF vortex, we wondered what it'd do with the nasty stuff: the dog sex, the rape porn. Or even the more mild takes on fucking. Now we're starting to see: porn gets put where no one can find it.

When Karp, Tumblr's waifish creator and CEO, hit Colbert last night, he was of course asked about the NSFW situation. In response to the direct question "Is [porn] going to stay on there?," Karp dissembles with a line about freedom of speech. He says he doesn't want to police what's on Tumblr. Good! But it's hard to reconcile the GIF commune ethos with the Advertising Will Make Tumblr Better sloganeering he's doing these days.

The brilliant, inelegant solution? Build a giant wall around the naked-sex-touching, and build it so tall that it's hard to get around it: blogs with pornographic or even simply risqué stuff won't show up on Tumblr tag pages (a popular way to navigate), or might be excluded from search engines. A breakdown of what's sectioned off can be seen here:

Tumblr Is Pushing Porn Into an Internet Sex Ghetto

A reader pointed us to a NSFW Tumblr user with a problem: the site's new rules make it very hard for anyone to know that she exists unless they already have a link to the site:

Well, confirmed that neither of my blogs will ever show up in a tumblr tag search again. Can’t search myself...This is pretty upsetting, as it means any SFW or fun fanart will obviously never show up in a search, EVEN if you are already following me...I have no reason to ever tag anything again, since it’s a flag that affects the entirety of my blog.

And this affects many of you all as well, since tumblr/yahoo is capable and already handing out these Adult-Blog tags FOR you. And it’s impossible to “change your ways." They have not technically censored us. Rather, they have made it essentially impossible for us to find and engage with new connections and people, by completely cutting us off from all forms of discovery.


Emphasis added. This will also make it just as hard for you to find porn on Tumblr, which is a really big deal for millions of people who use Tumblr. The same millions of people who Yahoo! wanted so badly to buy access to, in order to advertise to them. But no one will want to advertise to them if they're cruising for boobs. The problem here sounds confusing, but it's not: Yahoo! bought Tumblr to be cool. Tumblr was cool, in part, because you could stumble upon boobs or some kind of freaky-ass GIF or whatever the hell. It was a free-thinking weirdo zone free from marketing prudes or content control charts. But once you start to build an internet red light district, the rest of town feels a lot less exciting.

The internet will never smile when you make it harder to masturbate.

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