These 4 sites have emerged as alternatives for Tumblr users in the wake of the platform’s ban on NSFW images

Tumblr banned

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Tumblr banned “adult content” in December.
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Tumblr/Paige Leskin

  • Tumblr‘s ban on content featuring nudity went into effect starting December 17, 2018.
  • The decision was met with lots of backlash from users who view the site as a safe space to explore their identity and sexuality through “not safe for work” (NSFW) content.
  • Many Tumblr users said they planned to abandon the platform for alternative blogging websites that allow explicit content, some which can be found below.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Tumblr said last year it was banning “adult content” from its platform in order to make “a better, more positive” place. But the policy change caused some users to abandon the site.

The new policy went into effect December of 2018, and resulted in the deletion of any content portraying “real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples.” Some hoped that the sale of Tumblr to a new company in August would result in the ban’s reversal, but the new owners have said they’re keeping the ban on NSFW (not safe for work) content in place.

Reaction to Tumblr’s announcement was swift and critical across social media. More than 665,000 people have signed a Change.org petition to “make Tumblr rescind their adult content ban.”

For many, Tumblr was seen as a safe space used for exploration and self-expression.

“I frequently got messages from folks who saw my work and said it helped them understand part of themselves better,” an anonymous Tumblr user told The Washington Post. “That’s primarily what I saw on Tumblr, in my curated bubble: women and LGBT creators exploring sexual concepts that they didn’t feel comfortable sharing anywhere else.”

Dozens of new Twitter accounts popped up from former Tumblr users who said they were switching social media sites as a result of the new policy. But while Twitter is mainly a platform for short text blurbs and sharing links, Tumblr emphasizes blogging with a mix of images, videos, GIFs, and creative writing.

Other blogging platforms reported seeing an influx of new users since Tumblr announced its policy change.

Here are some alternatives to Tumblr emerging in light of the ban on adult content:


Newgrounds

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Newgrounds

While the design of Newgrounds may be old-school (it’s been around since 1999), the site prides itself on being wholly independent where it allows “everything for everyone.”

“Some of you might be dismayed at the thought of more lewd content on NG while others are super excited,” a post welcoming Tumblr users says. “The good news for everyone is that we’re seeing a lot of REALLY TALENTED artists joining up and not everything they post is NSFW.”


Pillowfort

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Pillowfort

Pillowfort.io is a user-friendly space that emerged from people “complaining about the limitations and flaws of these (other) sites, yet lamenting that there was nowhere better to go.”

Unfortunately, Pillowfort is in beta and costs a small fee to join, but you can try out the platform as a demo user on Pillowfort’s website. You may have issues accessing it though – I got an error message when I tried to set up my trial because of the unusually “high amount of traffic” the site is getting.


Dreamwidth

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Dreamwidth

Dreamwidth is a free platform for “creative folk” who want to share artwork and creative writing.

“We’d like to take a moment to reassure all y’all that we have your backs,” a post welcoming Tumblr users says. “To the newcomers: we’re happy to have you join us. Welcome aboard!”


Mastodon

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Mastodon

Mastodon is a decentralized social platform, meaning that its thousands individual communities exist on separate servers, but they all exist under one network. In response to Tumblr, Mastodon created a post with reasons to choose its platform as your new social media site.

“It’s a completely decentralised social network which combines the best bits of Twitter and Tumblr, but the technology is structured in a way whereby it can never be shut down,” a post advocating the switch to Mastodon says.

For more alternatives, a Tumblr user has created a master list of websites that could be potential options.