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150 Million People Have Abandoned Tumblr Since Its Porn Ban

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Tumblr took a tumble. A big one.

Since its decision to ban all pornography in December, traffic to the once-bustling social media site fell by about 29 percent, or 151 million users, Pink News reports, citing data from SimilarWeb. The loss happened in two big monthly drops. The number of average monthly users dropped from 521 million to 437 million from December to January. From January to February, the number fell from 437 million to 370 million.

Apple banned Tumblr’s official app from it’s App Store because of the child pornography shared on the site. In response, Tumblr, which also had a vibrant queer community, chose to ban all explicit images in response to Apple’s punishment.

Members of the LGBTQ+ community knew that Tumblr’s porn ban would disproportionately affect the site’s queer users, many of whom created or consumed adult queer content — including videos, photos and GIFs — much different than the content being made by mainstream porn studios.

“The Tumblr ban on adult content will affect queer and trans users by taking away a vital social component to a community that is bound together by their sexual orientation and sexual desire,” artist Courtney Trouble told Pink News. “Without social media that allows this kind of exploration, we are losing a lot.”

“Tumblr provided a community and access to porn for LGBT+ and POC people that would escape the sexist, homophobic and racist standards that other platforms unfortunately reproduce,” queer-friendly pornographer Paulita Pappel said.

The ban on porn also disproportionately affected sex workers, many of whom relied on the site as a safe place to share work and connect with potential clients. After the passage of FOSTA/SESTA, a law that made websites legally liable for user-generated content on their platforms, sex workers lost spaces like Craigslist and Backpage, both of which offered safe spaces for them to operate. To add irony to the situation, the Tumblr porn ban went into effect on December 17, the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

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Tags: News, Tumblr

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