Tumblr recently faced an internal crisis. The niche mass-blogging platform had become widely accepting of adult themed blogs. Pornographic images were freely posted and shared, all within the acceptable uses defined by the company. Then came the child pornography.
Most modern websites that allow photo uploads scan images against a database of known child pornography. There’s no disagreement that this type of imagery is not only morally wrong, but a criminal act that must be dealt with harshly. Tumblr had a technical breakdown, and was unable to filter out those images. So they decided to update their Terms of Service to no longer allow pornographic images of any kind.
And people were livid.
I think this shows the intellectual weakness in our society. We rightly rage against sexism and sexual assault, and we are angered when a company makes a move against arguably the largest influencer of sexual assault in the modern era. Pornography is nothing new, but its acceptance in the mainstream is a monumental shift. It influences young men and women, forms their minds and behaviors, and now we live with the result.
I think that Tumblr made a brave and moral decision to make adult imagery less mainstream, less accessible, and less commonplace. It’s right for our children, and its right for the good of the Internet writ large.