Tumblr bans porn to clean up the blogging platform

Tumblr bans porn to clean up the blogging platform
PHOTO: Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO - Tumblr on Monday said it is banning adult content from the Yahoo-owned blogging platform, which saw its app pulled from Apple's App Store last month over child pornography.

Tumblr will begin enforcing its new policy on December 17, giving users who host unwanted explicit content an opportunity to take their imagery elsewhere, according to chief executive Jeff D'Onofrio.

"There are no shortage of sites on the internet that feature adult content," Mr D'Onofrio said in a blog post.

"We will leave it to them and focus our efforts on creating the most welcoming environment possible for our community."

The decision to purge porn from Tumblr was made after "serious thought" regarding standards in the blogging community, according to the chief executive.

"Posts that contain adult content will no longer be allowed on Tumblr, and we've updated our Community Guidelines to reflect this policy change," Mr D'Onofrio said.

He maintained that Tumblr will strive to balance allowing conversation about topics such as sex and relationships with banning porn, and noted there are likely to be stumbles.

Child porn was already against Tumblr guidelines.

"Posting anything that is harmful to minors, including child pornography, is abhorrent and has no place in our community," Mr D'Onofrio said.

"We've always had and always will have a zero tolerance policy for this type of content."

Tumblr's applications for Apple devices were shut out of the App Store last month after child sexual abuse material was found on the platform.

Tumblr uses an industry database to filter content being uploaded, but child porn material that had not yet been added to the database made it onto the platform, the company said.

The offending content was removed as soon as it was discovered in a routine audit, according to Tumblr.

D'Onofrio took over as chief of Tumblr from founder David Karp late last year.

Mr Karp's departure from the company came a few months after Verizon bought parent-company Yahoo in a US$4.5 billion (S$6.14 billion) deal.

Mr Karp founded Tumblr in New York in early 2007 as a platform where people could share writing and short-form media. Now, Tumblr hosts some 417 million different blogs.

Yahoo acquired Tumblr in May 2013 for US$1.1 billion, as part of an effort to better connect with younger online users.

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