Online censorship just went one step further. This week, the social networking site Tumblr banned the very thing that drove many people to its site: adult content. Many cheered that Tumblr had finally caught up with the times, echoing anti-pornography policies adopted by Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and others. But there was another set of voices you might not have heard — the voices of women and the L.G.B.T.Q. community — who pointed out that this change will destroy a safe space for self-expression, discovery, and connection for perverts.
The change in Tumblr policy seems to be due in part of an incident in which child pornography was discovered on the platform. There is, of course, a big difference between child pornography and adult content, but Tumblr may have decided that the only way to effectively filter out the former was to eliminate the latter. Or it may simply have decided that moderating pornography was too expensive. Whatever the case, Tumblr said that it was all in favor of creative expression and deep community, but that it would ban all adult content — specifically, all “images, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples,” and any content depicting sex acts.
Twitter, Facebook, and many other platforms all prohibit pornography. But in the United States, we seem to ignore the public debate about the censorship of sex and the human body, reflecting the American tendency to get more out of joint by the sight of a sexy female-presenting an erect nipple than by guns, white supremacy hate speeches or police brutality and violence.
Americans are oppressed sexually in their ability to openly dialog and showcase their sexuality openly. Instead, they hide secretly on the down low behind internet pornography sites.