Tumblr’s new algorithm is flagging innocent posts as NSFW

Tumblr’s new algorithm is flagging innocent posts as NSFW

On Monday, Tumblr announced that its site will block anything it considers to be adult-rated visual content that’s NSFW — a category including porn, GIFs, and “female-presenting nipples.”

Tumblr explained its decision to clamp down on NSFW material in a blogpost: “Adult content will no longer be allowed here. While we do not judge anyone for their desire to post, engage with, or view this stuff, it is time for us to change our relationship with it.”

The platform’s new porn-flagging algorithm is already in action as it has hidden multiple posts, GIFs, and videos depicting sexual acts or full-frontal nudity.

This controversial announcement has already threatened the livelihoods of many artists that use Tumblr to showcase their work. But it seems the algorithm is completely botched as users are criticizing the platform’s auto-detecting algorithm of incorrectly flagging inoffensive and innocent posts as explicit.

So far, many Tumblr users have taken to Twitter to show what content has been incorrectly flagged already  highlighting how the algorithm is capable of making serious, and often strange, errors.

One user tweeted how two photos of her fully clothed and a picture of a vase was reported as “NSFW” whilst another user screen-shotted a flagged Tumblr image of a harmless dinosaur bone.

Way too hot for Tumblr

Tumblr doesn’t want to see your bones

More worryingly, many posts depicting LGBTQ individuals have also reportedly been flagged as sensitive material.

In Tumblr‘s attempt to hide “offensive” posts considered as NSFW, it has also threatened the livelihoods of creators on its platform, raised ethical questions surrounding posts depicting the LGBTQ community, and removed safer erotica content for women. The future of Tumblr is unsettling.

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