Tumblr to Ban All Adult Content in a Blow to NSFW Video Game Fandoms

Tumblr to Ban All Adult Content in a Blow to NSFW Video Game Fandoms

Overwatch in particular, probably.

Online blogging website Tumblr announced today that starting on December 17 adult content will be permanently banned from the website. This ban includes explicit sexual content and nudity save for a few exceptions.

According to Tumblr "Adult content 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." Tumblr will however permit written erotic content (so, steamy fanfiction is still allowed) nudity related to political action, and nudity in classical art such as sculptures and illustrations. Health-related depictions of nudity such as breastfeeding, birth or after-birth and gender confirmation surgery will also be permitted.

Existing adult content will be set to private and cannot be reblogged or shared. Tumblr's algorithm is already combing through the website and notifying flagged accounts that their sites will be set to private. Tumblr announced an "export" feature that will let artists extract their content before December 17.

The move follows an incident where the Tumblr app was pulled from the iOS App Store after it was discovered that child pornography was uploaded to the site after bypassing its filters.

Since Tumblr (purchased by Yahoo and recently under ownership by Verizon) began operating in 2007 it became home to many artists and content creators who previously operated on sites like LiveJournal. The website is known for its large fandoms including to video games such as Sonic and Overwatch. The latter has consistently remained one of the most popular video games on the website.

The news of Tumblr's adult content ban will take a toll on these fandoms as many artists published fanart and fanfiction based around different video games. Artists, some of whom work in games and some who have art blogs on Tumblr, have decried Tumblr's latest decision as it's also taking action against otherwise legal, and some say progressive, erotica.

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Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

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