In the wake of The Great Tumblr Purge, I’ve been trying to skim back through my posts to see what’s getting nabbed by the platform’s new “family-friendly” policy.
In many cases that I’ve seen posted by others and in my own reblogs, the flagged content is…baffling. And there’s a lot to be said about that, and far more that can be said about the stubborn wrong-headed mentality that’s driving this throw-out-the-baby-with-the-bathwater policy and piss-poor implementation in the first place.
But here’s an instance of something being flagged wherein I can understand why, with their strict new censorship policy, Tumblr flagged this. It’s also an example of one of the many things that makes this new policy a bad move for everyone.
This is an artistic photograph, taken and contributed to the Wikimedia Commons by Jean-Christophe Destailleur. It was Wikipedia’s picture of the day on June 8th of this very year. The photograph “is considered one of the finest images” on Wikimedia Commons.
Frankly, this should be fine even under Tumblr’s new policy (and would be under any sane policy). It has merit on both in its status as artwork and, as a photograph featured on the front page of a significant mainstream website used by many, as something newsworthy. It’s admittedly small potatoes as far as news goes, but we’ve all seen smaller. And I’ve been posting the Wikipedia picture of the day every day for a while, now, because I think those pictures have merit.
The photo’s only true offense against the new rules is that the naked human presented here, whose genitals are obscured, happens to bear “female-presenting nipples” upon their chest.
In 2018, it’s ridiculous that anyone still fusses over such a simple detail of the human body. We all have nipples. They’re no more special than most other parts of the body…all of which can be seen as sexual in the eyes of the right beholder.
But, then, Tumblr’s whole purge of adult content is pretty ridiculous, too. I’m disappointed with Tumblr’s Oath/Verizon owners, and angry about the repercussions this whole situation is already having on sex workers, artists, minority groups of all flavor, artistic expression, and free speech.
The no-nips element is, then, just the nasty, rotting cherry on top of a fresh cake of foul-smelling donkey dung. It’s a move that feels like a poor attempt at turning Tumblr into Facebook, a social network whose absurd idea of inappropriate includes the nipples in a Waterboy GIF provided by their own GIF tool.
NOTE: The post you just read about censorship, in its original form, first appeared on the author’s personal Tumblr on December 4, 2018. For obvious reasons, the post was deemed by Tumblr to be inappropriate under their new policy. The original post as seen on Tumblr is no longer visible as of December 17th, 2018.