The queer communities harmed by Tumblr’s NSFW content ban

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On Monday, Tumblr announced that it will ban “adult content” from its social network starting December 17. But the ban will penalise the site’s thousands of LGBTQ artists, educators, sex workers and others fans as well.

Tumblr’s move was foreseeable: Last November, Apple briefly removed Tumblr from its App Store. This January, the US congressional Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) will hold websites liable for when users post any content seen as promoting sex work. Eager to avoid prosecution, Tumblr and other sites are purging all sexual content.

An estimated 20% of Tumblr’s current traffic comes from people seeking adult content. So Tumblr’s decision will make the site more advertiser friendly while effectively killing off one-fifth of its user base. Its automated system for detecting adult content is currently flagging pictures of sand dunes, women sitting on desks, wrestlers and other non-explicit content. Thus, it’s hassling far more than just posters of adult content.

While Tumblr may retain its large fandom and social justice communities who use it to connect and share artwork, the ban will harm user who’ve amassed hundreds of thousands of followers through a shared love of erotic art & images celebrating sexuality. Meanwhile the site will still allow posts glorifyig white supremacy. Here are five communities that’ll be most harmed by Tumblr’s adult content ban.

Read on…

Little Game

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Little Game was Benny’s debut single and the music video offers a dark alternative pop narrative on gender roles and gender equality. The video demonstrates the skewed enforcement of falling into masculine and feminine archetypes.

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The best esports player of the year is gay, black and a furry

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“I’m gay, black, a furry — pretty much everything a Republican hates — and the best esports player of the whole year.”

—Dominique “SonicFox” McLean, American esports player and four-time Evolution Championship Series winner, in a speech accepting the award for Best Esports Player at the The Game Awards 2018.

McLean is famous in the esports community not only for being a skilled gamer, but also for his open embrace of his sexuality and SonicFox furry persona, including wearing his fur suit to gaming tournaments.

The 20-year-old gave a nervous, excited speech while accepting his award Thursday evening, donning his blue fox furry head as he walked up to the stage before stating in disbelief, “I really won this shit.” Calling the award — which is voted on by a panel of international gaming journalists, all well as by members of the public — a “big honor,” McLean said he “just really really [enjoys] playing video games competitively” and that he doesn’t compete for the fame. Instead, he joked, “I kind of just enjoy the rush of beating people up” — a nod to his preferred genre of fighting games.

The highest-paid fighting game player in the world, McLean also referenced during his speech a $10,000 donation he made last month to help the father of fellow gamer Curtis “Rewind” McCall, who is undergoing stage three cancer treatment.

He then gave a series of shout-outs to his team and friends, before ending on a bold declaration of his sexuality and identity that drew cheers from the crowd.

“As you guys also may know — or may not know — I’m also super gay,” McLean said. “I wanna give a super shoutout to all my LGBTQ+ friends that have always helped me through life. Obviously I’m a furry, so shout out to the furries…. Guess all I gotta really say is I’m gay, black, a furry — pretty much everything a Republican hates — and the best esports player of the whole year I guess. Thank you so much!”

McLean made headlines and drew praise in August this year when he came out publicly immediately after winning the 2018 EVO championship. “I’m gay,” McLean tweeted, before reminding any haters, “also the best [Dragon Ball FighterZ] player on this fucking planet [don’t] forget it.”

Facebook bans talking about sexuality. Yes, talking.

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If you thought Tumblr banning pictures and videos containing nudity was dumb, wait till you hear what Facebook just announced: They’re banning talking about your sexual preferences and activities on their site. Yup. The biggest social network in the world wants you to stop talking about sex because, you know, that’s dirty.

Their new content policy makes things like saying you’re a ‘top’ or a ‘bottom’ off-limits, in a move the social media behemoth says will combat content that “facilitates, encourages or coordinates sexual encounters between adults” and bars “sexually explicit language that may lead to solicitation.”

“Sex positions,” “sexual preference” and any number of other sexy umbrellas pertaining to “sexual hints” are all means for moderator intervention now. Another common phrase you see a lot — “send nudes” — is a no-no, whether its meant as a joke or an actual request. The new rules ban “offering or asking for nude images.”

This new wave of Puritanism with companies demonising anything that is even remotely related to sex hits queer people the hardest because queer themes are regraded “adult” topics by default on many U.S. sites.

Further reading: Facebook’s new community standards blatantly hurt queer users

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Tumblr, that site no one’s using for anything but porn, banned all porn

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Imagine living in a world where kids grow up not being taught that their bodies are something to be ashamed of or that sex is something nasty that will taint you as a person. Or actually being taught how to have sex safely to not get pregnant or STDs or how consent works.

You’ll need quite some imagination for this seeing how the West seems to slide back into the moral mindset of the 19th century lately. Led by American companies who have no problem whatsoever with violence or nazi propaganda on their sites, this new Puritan movement just culminated in one of the biggest social networks banning all NSFW content.

Tumblr, the site that has become a hub for so many communities and artists with adult themes, the site that is used to view porn by a majority of its users, wants to become a “better and more positive” place. Apparently that doesn’t include body or sex positivity. Tumblr did say that they won’t remove artistic nudity in art, paintings and sculptures for example but turns out that statement was not quite true as you can see below:

Two weeks from now, all NSFW content will be removed from Tumblr. The decision comes just weeks after the Tumblr app was removed from Apple’s iTunes store because of problems with Tumblr’s content filter. Apparently Tumblr came to the conclusion that just removing all porn would be easier than fixing their software.

The NSFW bloggers are easily Tumblr’s largest community so this move will be a huge blow to the site. The stock price of Tumblr’s parent company Verizon is in free fall and many users started fleeing the site, migrating to Twitter and other networks just hours after the decision was announced.

Below I’ll list some of the Tumblr bloggers I featured on milkboys and their Twitter accounts so you can keep up with them that way in case they announce where they will set up in the future. For more developments on this follow the milkboys Twitter.

Tumblr Twitter (follow for updates)
Milo @milomauwmauw
Jero @SuperSolidSquid
Josh @milkkore
F0reverUnde4d @F0reverUnde4d
Kahran @skinnykinks
Kirby @tn_kirby
Almosttoast @almosttoasty
Fawnykid @fawnykid
Xag @asoftcreature
Broccolibutts @SlutElf
Autistic Sissy @AutisticSissy

Growing up trans in Texas

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An intimate portrait of Kimberly and Kai Shappley: a mother has to confront her religious community while her 7-year-old transgender daughter navigates life at school, where she’s been banned from the girls’ bathroom.

 

Brotherly

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Based on a true story of two brothers in 1970s Ohio. It tells of their abandonment by their alcoholic parents and how the brothers turned to each other for support.