Featured Image is my own.
I am a Mother raising a son. This isn’t often an important factor in my posts but it is today because I want to discuss the world in which I am raising him. As most of you will know by now as of December 17th Tumblr are banning all adult content. Facebook have been disallowing posts like Sexual subcultures are collateral damage in Tumblr’s ban on all adult content by Zahara Stardust that even dare to discuss what the Tumblr issue means to various communities and more and more people are being pushed into the shadows in an attempt to silence the voices of people who talk loud and proud about sex.
So I wrote about #Tumblr‘s sanitizing of online space via its ban on adult content then #Facebook said the article violated their Terms of Service that now significantly limits discussion of sexuality. @ConversationEDU #tumblrpurge #termsofservice #communitystandards pic.twitter.com/TD8nNB8wtt
— Zahra Stardust (@ZahraStardust) December 6, 2018
Now before I go on, some will say this is a is about minors in pornographic content (I’m sorry I can’t bring myself to type the more colloquial phrasing of that), sex trafficking and Tumblr’s altruistic desire to protect the victims of those things. Which skates of the fact that users have had issues with that kind of content for years and it is Tumblr’s inability to deal with posts that advocate that kind of content which has led to this blanket ban. Of course, I do not want anyone being able to access that kind of content, but if we are naive enough to think protecting minors is the sole reason behind Tumblr’s decision we would only be lying to ourselves.
Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter all these social media platforms make decisions based on money. When Tumblr started out the best chance it had at becoming a successful platform was by embracing marginalised groups and allowing a freedom of expression that we couldn’t find elsewhere, this is how they gained popularity, this is how they finally reached the mainstream. If you don’t believe me that Tumblr truly meant something to certain subsections of people then take a look at the articles below.
- Porn on tumblr – a eulogy/love letter by Vex Ashley
- How Tumblr became a sanctuary for outsiders by Lydia Morrish
America and the U.K are countries where we are in many ways very privileged, we are not oppressed in the way many people are the world over and by and large we have access to things people in many parts of the world could only dream of. I get this, I know this. I am grateful for this. However, we are two countries facing similar and infuriating issues and our issues matter and are really fucking relevant to the lives we should be able to live. We are being governed by politics that are backwards in their thinking, which means in terms of issues relating to adult content we are not moving forward.
More informed people than me have written posts on this, including:
- I can see clearly now (the porn is gone) by DomSigns
- When will we stop fearing sex? By Epiphora
- The internet war on sex is here by Violet Blue
I am not the go-to person for the nitty gritty on this stuff. What I can tell you though is as a Mother I do not want this for my child. I don’t want him living in a world where being a sex worker is seen as more abhorrent than being a white supremacist. I don’t want him growing up to think a ‘female presenting nipple’ is … hell, I don’t want him growing up knowing the term ‘female presenting nipple’ was ever used. For fucks sake Tumblr, a nipple is fucking nipple! And pray tell Tumblr how are we to share things like breast examination images in relation to cancer without showing nipples? You know what, scratch that, who cares about cancer. So long as the Puritans don’t see a nipple I’m sure no one minds giving up the war on cancer. #yeswefuckingdo #freethenipple #getyournipsout
You know who’s a disgrace to the human race? Nazis, racists, rapists, bigots, homophobes, transphobes, paedophiles, animal abusers, child abusers, the list is endless. You know who isn’t threatening the lives of innocent people? Sex workers, homosexuals, transgender folk, non-binary folk, sex bloggers and BDSM enthusiasts to name but a few. Plenty of Nazis are still spreading their hate and vitriol, but me? Yeah, I’m shadowbanned on Twitter, probably because I use the word fuck and have female presenting nipples and honestly you’ll have to pry the word fuck from my cold dead hands, so chances are I’ll be shadowbanned for a while. We are currently living in a world where those in charge see the freedom of speech as more relative in terms of hatred and inciting of violence than it is to expressions of sexual freedom, sexual identity, gender realities and consensual explorations of deviant activities. This is off the chart insane.
— Christopher Bowles (@chrisdbowles) December 7, 2018
Without sounded like a self-righteous arse, I’m not mortified by my shadowban on a personal level. Sure it’s annoying, it narrows my reach and is indicative of a wider problem, but in this world of imbalance where all voices are not all seen as equal in many peoples eyes, I will have a much easier time getting my voice heard than many other people affected by these issues and that is what I find most infuriating.
There is so much discord and enmity in this world at the moment and it is allowing extremely unpleasant people to rise up from beneath the stones they live under and spread their poison into the lives of good people just trying to live their best life. When I look around at the people in the various communities that I am privy to I see amazing people willing to fight the good fight and the people who look set to make a change this world are the very people that the powers that be are trying to silence. Which never usually ends well for the oppressors …
“Have you any idea how much tyrants fear the people they oppress? All of them realize that one day, amongst their many victims, there is sure to be one who rises against them and strikes back!” – Albus Dumbledore
We are not one though, we are many, and yes we are being backed into dark and dangerous corners at every turn, but my prediction is that people who crave and cherish the ability to live their most authentic life are a force to be reckoned with. Especially if we are united and have each other’s backs. Which is exactly what #ShareOurShitSaturday posts are all about.
For those people who haven’t delved too deeply into the Tumblr fiasco, you might be wondering what being gay or transgender has to do with a ban on pornography. Here’s the thing, they aren’t banning pornography, they are banning adult content! For some powers that be adult content does and will continue to include being gay or transgender. On what planet is two women kissing in their wedding photo adult content? Oh yeah, planet Tumblr. I kid you not images like this are being flagged and inappropriate. Some people will argue that it was just an error during the overzealous early days of the Tumblr announcement, call me sceptical but I’m not buying that and fellow members of the LGBTQ+ would agree …
- RIP: Tumblr Is Banning All Porn From The App by Mikelle Street
- Queer Women Used Tumblr To Explore Sexuality. Now It’s Over. by Julia Fawal
- Facebook’s New Censorship Policy Reveals a ‘Sex Panic’ on the Platform by Mikelle Street
You can take my thoughts with a pinch of salt, I am due to the nature of my blog, podcast, personal interests and personal identity enraged when things like this happen. Before you write this issue off though because you’re not on Tumblr or haven’t yet been subjected to social media shadowbanning, do your research. Take in a variety of opinions on the matter and then decide if it is something you should care about. Hint: you should totally care.
For further reading on the Tumblr issue you might like the following:
- Tumblr’s adult content ban means the death of unique blogs that explore sexuality by Shannon Liao
- The fallout from Tumblr’s porn ban by Shannon Liao, Jon Porter, Andrew Liptak
- Tumblr is already tagging innocent posts as porn by Shannon Liao
If you’ve read all this, feel like you want to help but see yourself as just one person who hasn’t got the time, life situation or social/political knowledge or standing to help, you are wrong. We can all help. Posts like #SoSS, sharing posts on Twitter, buying content from creators whose income will be drastically affected by being removed/ousted from Tumblr, correcting those whose cries of ‘oh boohoo no more free porn’ are missing the point entirely, use your voice, especially if you are not shadowbanned to tell people that this situation is not okay.
We will not stand for it.
We are building our army, with dildos and nipples as our weapons and we will kick your puritanical assess into shape so we can live our lives, share our voices and be freakin’ awesome in all corners of the internet.