March 15, 2019 at 3:14 pm EST | by Mariah Cooper
Tumblr’s traffic declines after porn ban
Tumblr logo (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Social media site Tumblr took a hit to its web traffic after implementing a new policy that bans adult content from its site.

Since the ban in December, traffic has plummeted almost 30 percent. According to data gathered from the analytics site SimilarWeb, there were an estimated 520 million visits to Tumblr in December. In January, the number declined to 436 million and in February the visits further dropped to 369 million.

Tumblr was a popular web platform for erotic artists to showcase their work, for users to share porn and for sex workers. It was considered a safe place to share creative work and adult content, often times anonymously, especially for the LGBTQ community.

After child pornography was found on the website, the Apple store removed Tumblr’s app. In an attempt to rectify the issue, Tumblr announced it would be banning adult content, not just child pornography, from the site.

“We spent considerable time weighing the pros and cons of expression in the community that includes adult content. In doing so, it became clear that without this content we have the opportunity to create a place where more people feel comfortable expressing themselves,” Tumblr’s CEO Jeff D’Onofrio announced last year.

According to its guidelines Tumblr defines “adult content” as “primarily includes photos, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples, and any content—including photos, videos, GIFs and illustrations—that depicts sex acts.”

Now Tumblr uses computer algorithms to filter out adult content but they aren’t always effective. Users have complained that the algorithms have been flagging content incorrectly.

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