updated 01:45 pm EDT, Fri July 19, 2013
Yahoo-owned blogging service will not police content hosted on servers
Tumblr has clarified its policy for users posting adult content on their blogs. While the company seemingly does not want to police such content on its service, it will be blocking blogs dedicated to porn and other similar topics from its own internal search, as well as preventing them from being indexed by third-party search engines, such as Google or Bing.
A new page advising on the new rules, discovered by Valleywag, advises how it will deal with content left unflagged, flagged as Not Safe For Work (NSFW) for occasional nudity or content issues, or for Adult Blogs with substantial quantities of such content. Adult Blogs receive the most blockages, which prevents indexing in search, posts appearing in logged-out dashboards, and posts being listed in tag pages. Rather than blocking the content from view entirely, Tumblr is instead making it harder to find.
During an interview on The Colbert Report, Tumblr CEO David Karp advised that the company has "taken a pretty hard line on freedom of speech, supporting our users, creation, whatever that looks like, and it's just not something that we want to police." The FAQ goes on to state that the service has "to be sensitive to the millions of readers and bloggers from different locations, cultures, and backgrounds with different points of view concerning mature or adult-oriented content. There are a lot of people in our community who would rather not see this stuff and could even get in trouble if they did."
The move to make pornography and other similar items harder to find on the service will likely make the service more attractive to advertisers, and in turn allowing Yahoo more of a chance to earn back some of its $1.1 billion investment. At the time of Yahoo confirming the acquisition of the blogging service, Tumblr reportedly had over 300 million monthly unique visitors, with around 24 billion minutes spent by readers viewing the site per month.