What’s Current: Tumblr to ban sexually explicit content

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news roundup.

  • After their app was removed from the Apple store for hosting child abuse imagery, Tumblr has announced they will ban all adult content and depictions of intercourse.
  • Researchers have linked prenatal exposure to chemicals in personal care products to early puberty in girls.
  • Celebrity astronomer, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, is under investigation by the producers of the Cosmos series for sexual misconduct following two new allegations against him made by former colleagues.
  • Russia’s Human Rights Ombudswoman, Tatyana Moskalkova, has backtracked on her support for the country’s decriminalization of domestic violence in 2017, calling it a “mistake.”
  • Ottawa anti-violence advocates say a housing shortage combined with a lack of shelter space is preventing women from leaving homes with violent partners.
Natasha Chart
Natasha Chart

Natasha Chart is an online organizer and feminist living in the United States. She does not recant her heresy.

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  • lk

    Why would anyone even think that decriminalizing first time dv would be a good idea for the women/children of Russia?

    The whole idea of decreasing the punishment for first time DV really just sends a dangerous message that domestic violence against women and children is not really that big of a deal.

    “Controversial amendments to Russian law decriminalised some forms of domestic violence in February 2017. The changes mean violence against a spouse or children that results in bruising or bleeding but not broken bones is punishable by 15 days in prison or a fine of 30,000 roubles (£380) if they do not happen more than once a year. Previously, these offences carried a maximum jail sentence of two years.”


  • fadremxvx

    Wowwww, there are already a ton of articles complaining about the proposed porn ban–and they’re all whining about how it’ll harm sex workers and how it “abandons the marginalized”!

    Fuck this planet.

    • corvid

      It really just proves how nakedly self-serving (pun intended) producers/consumers/supporters of porn and prostitution are being, when they invoke the “marginalized” in this way. Like, come on, really.

    • Scifimaster92

      The worst part is that the Tumblr staff knew about the problem for years but did nothing to resolve it. If anything, they seemed to silently encourage it, as it was the only way they could make any kind of profit due to their failure to effectively incentivize or financially compensate their content creators.

      • Alienigena

        The early internet (mid to late 1990s in Canada) was rife with porn as well and notifications in email about porn. Though people (mainly men) claim that you don’t see it unless you are seeking it out actively I remember stumbling on some sites that generated a ton of pornographic pop-ups (in the heyday of pop-up windows, late 1990.s and early 2000.s). All of the onus was placed on users, including child users, to be savvy enough to avoid this crap or to deal with predatory male adults (I am thinking Amanda Todd) with the sophistication of a tech knowledgeable adult. What adults expect of children today is just awful, they are not miniature adults (physically or intellectually) they need to be protected from malevolent, predatory males not sent out to compete in a kind of virtual thunderdome, where only the most savvy, protected (by parental measures to prevent access to porn) or tech deprived survive.

    • radwonka

      Proof that people who produce porn are selfish af and shouldn’t be listened to since they will never about the negative consequences of porn.

  • Ashley Braman

    So can we sue Tumblr for sex discrimination? Bc males can post sexually explicit content of their chests but womxxn can not. . Seems like discrimination

    • Denise Denning

      It’s a ban on porn. Images of women’s breasts are not porn.

    • BeeWall

      Trolling right along…

    • Blazing Fire

      No, it mentioned that non-sexualized images, such as in breast-feeding, are ok.

    • Yisheng Qingwa



  • Anthocerotopsida

    Saw this conversation on facebook –

    Person 1: Tumblr has a lot of illegal child porn.
    Libral woman of my acquaintance: But is that a reason to ban all adult content?!

    Uh, yeah. Yeah it is. Easiest question ever. Discouraging child abuse is more important than your personal masturbation habits. This isn’t debatable.

  • Maria Gatti

    I am really sick of hearing explicit porn being referred to as “adult content”.

    • radwonka

      Yeah should be called objectifying or misogynistic content.

    • Hanakai

      It should called what it is: misogynistic sexual perversion.

      Healthy people get aroused by other people. Really healthy people get aroused by specific other people for whom they have genuine affection.

  • Starla

    Unfortunately, Tumblr is also banning sfw lgbq material as explicit. The algorithm doesn’t seem super selective. It’s labeling text posts about lesbians, pictures of daisies, pictures of hands, sex educational materials, and a lot more as explicit.

  • Maybe I’ll go back to Tumblr. A lot of the men harassing feminists on that platform will probably leave.

  • Alienigena

    I like that the term “child abuse imagery” was used rather than child porn as the former does not grant pornographers or porn users the right to define this as anything but abuse. Children can’t consent to anything including being part of a porn video, they are legal minors in most countries in the world, so their taking part is not based on any spurious notion of consent. Same with child sexual abuse victims, they are not sex workers or the willing sex partners of adult men, but abuse victims. I know that prescriptive language is being used to oppress women (trans related topics) but feminists need to use language around child sexual abuse (whatever form it takes (incest, filmed abuse, stranger sexual violence, etc.)) that reflects what it is, abuse. So thanks FC.

    • Jack Thompson

      The fact that they’re a legal minor is irrelevant. If they want to participate that’s consent.

  • pyrite00

    Oh yes, much wailing about how the porn ban is punishing all those “empowered” women doing porn — sorry, but if doing porn was empowering, you would see the men who run the world doing it all over Tumblr. To paraphrase a woman who got a LOT wrong and a few things right (Dr. Laura): nobody ever died from not having any porn.

  • therealcie

    Tumblr is doing nothing that will actually combat child porn. The steps they are taking are more likely to harm creators of fandom art, including a lot of gay and bisexual teens and young adults expressing themselves artistically through this medium. I have an account there, and while there is a fair bit of trans activist bullshit accusing people of being “terfs” and “swerfs,” I’ve also found a lot of very supportive people in the artistic and mental health communities and in the size acceptance community. Tumblr is going about this in the same way that the U.S. went about things during prohibition, and it’s working just about as well. They aren’t going to stop the kiddie porn peddlers or porn bots with their slash and burn approach.
    What Tumblr needs to do is to take complaints of abuse and harassment seriously, including the “punch a TERF” crap (like that will happen) and harassing of larger people, particularly women. They need to take down the porn bots when they receive complaints about them, not send out a bot to find “adult material,” which, according to their description, basically means anything with “female appearing nipples.” They need to report suspected exploitation of minors to the FBI and Interpol and remove the material from public view.
    I did an experiment to see how long it would take a post featuring shirtless men wearing not at all revealing shorts to get flagged as adult material. it was flagged within the hour.
    Tumblr’s heart is not in the right place. They are owned by Yahoo, which is owned by Verizon, and Verizon was pissed about the app being pulled out of Apple’s app store. It’s all about the bottom line. They couldn’t give a single fuck about the exploitation of minors.