Tumblr traffic slumps after December adult content ban

Tumblr’s views dropped after the company imposed a ban on adult content in December.

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Tumblr’s crackdown on adult content appears to be hitting the site hard.

Similarweb, a web analytics firm, reported that visits to the popular blogging site have dipped significantly since the December pornography ban. On Dec. 3, total Tumblr views on desktop and mobile were at just over 520 million. As of Jan. 28, views had dropped by more than 100 million, according to Similarweb.

The change came after the Tumblr app vanished from the Apple App Store for roughly a month after child pornography slipped through the company’s content filters.

In December, Tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio said in a blog post that it chose to remove adult content after weighting the pros and cons of expression in the community. D’Onofrio said the platform had to consider the impact on different age groups, demographics, cultures and mindsets. 

“We made a strategic decision for the business that better positions it for long-term growth among more types of users. This was the right decision,” a Tumblr spokesperson said Thursday in an emailed statement.

The ban got off to a rocky start. Users complained about the inconsistency in blocked posts and ultimately found ways around the flagging process. Other users said images were incorrectly hidden.

Originally published March 14.
Update, March 15: Added more details about Tumblr adult content ban.

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