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PJ Media encourages you to read our updated PRIVACY POLICY and COOKIE POLICY.
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Tumblr Bans Porn

Tumblr is in hot water with its users after deciding to delete all adult material off its platform. Jeff D'Onofrio, CEO of Tumblr, put out this announcement:

Over the past several months, and inspired by our storied past, we’ve given serious thought to who we want to be to our community moving forward and have been hard at work laying the foundation for a better Tumblr. We’ve realized that in order to continue to fulfill our promise and place in culture, especially as it evolves, we must change. Some of that change began with  fostering more constructive dialogue among our community members. Today, we’re taking another step by no longer allowing adult content, including explicit sexual content and nudity (with some exceptions).

Posts that contain adult content will no longer be allowed on Tumblr, and we’ve updated our Community Guidelines to reflect this policy change. We recognize Tumblr is also a place to speak freely about topics like art, sex positivity, your relationships, your sexuality, and your personal journey. We want to make sure that we continue to foster this type of diversity of expression in the community, so our new policy strives to strike a balance.

Bottom line: There are no shortage of sites on the internet that feature adult content. We will leave it to them and focus our efforts on creating the most welcoming environment possible for our community.

This did not go over well with the porn fetishists that appear to run Tumblr.

The only thing I know about Tumblr is that a friend told me her ten-year-old was once exposed to suicide and cutting blogs by another child of their acquaintance on the site. That terrifying experience led to the attempted suicide of the child who had shared the page with her child. These are the kinds of deadly landmines that social media has created for parents. There is no doubt that social media is extremely dangerous for kids. Countless stories of suicides after "cyberbullying" on these platforms can be found everywhere, with victims as young as nine.

While it is true that parents have the ultimate responsibility of keeping their children safe, what role should society play? Matt Walsh did a live Facebook video about this issue and mused that we are the first generation of parents to have to deal with the aftermath of social media — and our kids are the guinea pigs. We are the experiment.

We don't know what will become of our children — even if we keep them off the platforms that are the most problematic. We can't keep them away from it entirely. It's impossible. If we don't allow it in our homes, some child will show it to them when they are at school or at a birthday party.

Further, sexual assault researchers are reporting that the majority of sexual assault cases they are seeing are perpetrated by minors on minors. These kids have been exposed to pornography far earlier than they should have been, and it has had devastating results. KSHB reports,

 Children's Mercy says they're seeing a disturbing trend in child sexual assault cases. Children are abusing children. "I think that was kind of shocking to us all as we were collecting this data, is that almost half of our perpetrators are minors," said Heidi Olson, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Coordinator. The SANE program's data shows perpetrators are likely to be between 11 and 15 years-old..."Another thing we're noticing is a lot of those sexual assaults are violent sexual assaults, so they include physical violence in addition to sexual violence," said Jennifer Hansen, a child abuse pediatrician at Children's Mercy... Nurses are also finding more and more that pornography is playing a role in these cases. That can include a victim being forced to see porn, a victim reporting that the perpetrator said they'd watched porn, being forced to do something shown in a pornographic video, or a victim being recorded doing a sexual act.

All adults should be interested in protecting the most vulnerable among us from becoming victims of sexual assault and abuse. Instead, they're worried about where they will go for their porn fix. It's a sad commentary that society as a whole doesn't want to do what we can to stop the pornography overload on our children.

I'm getting a giggle out of the outrage on the left because their porn is being censored. The rest of us have had our political opinions and our creativity censored for years now and we have been told over and over again that Facebook, Twitter, and the like are "private" companies that can kick whomever they want off their platforms. Well, pervs, welcome to the club! We told you it wouldn't stop with conservatives. We'll give you the same advice you gave us: If you don't like it, go build your own platform.

Personally, I'm glad Tumblr is cracking down on porn. We need to go back to a time when porn was something that required age verification and not just clicking on the "yes I'm 18 or over" button. (Whose stupid idea was that?) The fact that kids can't take part in technology without being bombarded with porn is a disgrace to the Internet and the companies creating social media platforms. It's time to do something about it.

In case you were wondering, the age demographics for Tumblr show that 10 percent of all Internet users high school age or under are using the platform. It's very popular with the kids. There are no blocks keeping them from seeing the graphic porn that's there. If a company knows that and does nothing about it, they are complicit in the corruption of minors and as reports show, the corruption of minors leads to the sexual assault of children. Obscenity laws need to catch up with the times and apply to all social media platforms. If they are going to have adult content, then they need to make sure no minors are using the platform — or remove the content. Requiring a credit card or driver's license for verification to access adult material would be easy enough. Why did it take so long and why did it have to be our kids they experimented on? And before anyone complains about privacy, I've had to give Facebook AND Twitter my driver's license to prove my identity or be locked out of my accounts.

I do what I can to protect my kids from inappropriate content online. One parenting hack is the terrific app OurPact, which allows parents to control which apps are downloaded and to control how often the devices can be online. It also allows the parent to turn off any app at any time. Apple also has a kids setting that puts a safe search on Internet access. But no tool is perfect and parents need much more help from the tech companies in order to keep the garbage away from our kids. Are they finally waking up to what they have done to childhood?

Stay tuned for the libertarian REEEEEEEEEEEing about not wanting to live in a world that's safe for children. (See the comments. They will surely be there yelling at me.) But what's the alternative? Do we really think that a world that is unsafe for children is somehow superior? The free Internet is a public space. Like all public spaces, there are limits on what adults can do in order to preserve the rights of others from being assaulted by unwanted images or behaviors. Public nudity is not okay on the street, so why is it okay online? If "hate speech" (like saying a man can't be a woman) that upsets college students isn't allowed on social media, how can porn (that offends a much larger group of people and actually harms people) be allowed?

Put the porn back under the counter and behind brown paper where it belongs. Congratulations to Tumblr for taking the leap. Let's hope they stick to their convictions.