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.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

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.

Related articles

Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond's Multiplayer Looks Surprisingly In-Depth for VR

That lever-action rifle spin does look like it'd be incredibly fun.

A New Scientific Study Aims to Learn More About Why Players Do or Don't Invert Controls

The researchers say the work could be "useful for almost all aspects of gaming and visual technologies."

Cyberpunk 2077 Shows Off What's Possible With Its Photo Mode

It's also a nice reminder that yes, this game is out next week.

You may also like

These Are the Movies and TV Shows to Watch Before Playing Cyberpunk 2077

From Akira to Dredd, there's a lot to watch before Dec. 10.

I Thought Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light Would be Too Archaic. I Was Wrong

A new translation and some key quality-of-life additions make this genre pioneer worth playing.

Mega Man X3's Instruction Booklet Is a Perfect '90s Snapshot of Web 1.0

Mega Man X3's odd booklet is a product that can only exist in 1995.

Nintendo Hacker Sentenced to Three Years Following Guilty Plea

The defendant was sentenced for both hacking and possession of child pornography.