How Tumblr’s Porn Ban Exposes Big Tech’s Hypocrisy

In this Feb.12 2016 file photo, a visitor takes a picture of Gustave Courbet's 1866 "The Origin of the World," at Musee d'Orsay museum, in Paris. A French teacher, whose Facebook account was suspended in 2011 after he posted a photo of a famous 19th-century nude painting, is suing Thursday Feb. 1, 2018 the California-based social network Facebook for alleged "censorship". Frederic Durand-Baissas, a 59-year-old Parisian teacher and art lover, posted a photo of "The Origin of the World," which depicts female genitalia.
In this Feb.12 2016 file photo, a visitor takes a picture of Gustave Courbet's 1866 "The Origin of the World," at Musee d'Orsay museum, in Paris. A French teacher, whose Facebook account was suspended in 2011 after he posted a photo of a famous 19th-century nude painting, is suing Thursday Feb. 1, 2018 the California-based social network Facebook for alleged "censorship". Frederic Durand-Baissas, a 59-year-old Parisian teacher and art lover, posted a photo of "The Origin of the World," which depicts female genitalia. Francois Mori, File / AP Photo
In this Feb.12 2016 file photo, a visitor takes a picture of Gustave Courbet's 1866 "The Origin of the World," at Musee d'Orsay museum, in Paris. A French teacher, whose Facebook account was suspended in 2011 after he posted a photo of a famous 19th-century nude painting, is suing Thursday Feb. 1, 2018 the California-based social network Facebook for alleged "censorship". Frederic Durand-Baissas, a 59-year-old Parisian teacher and art lover, posted a photo of "The Origin of the World," which depicts female genitalia.
In this Feb.12 2016 file photo, a visitor takes a picture of Gustave Courbet's 1866 "The Origin of the World," at Musee d'Orsay museum, in Paris. A French teacher, whose Facebook account was suspended in 2011 after he posted a photo of a famous 19th-century nude painting, is suing Thursday Feb. 1, 2018 the California-based social network Facebook for alleged "censorship". Frederic Durand-Baissas, a 59-year-old Parisian teacher and art lover, posted a photo of "The Origin of the World," which depicts female genitalia. Francois Mori, File / AP Photo

How Tumblr’s Porn Ban Exposes Big Tech’s Hypocrisy

“Why is an exposed female nipple considered pornographic, while an exposed male nipple is not”? Free expression advocates have asked this, and similar questions since the social media platform, Tumblr, earlier this month, announced a sitewide purge of adult content. The decision came after the Apple App Store banned Tumblr for allegedly hosting child pornography. Verizon, which owns Tumblr, saw its stock value plummet after it announced that as of December 17th, the site will permanently delete blogs it deems inappropriate. Critics have concerns over Tumblr’s method for flagging unsuitable content. Rather than use humans to manage and filter such content, Tumblr will leave it to artificial intelligence to decide what is inappropriate. Critics also state that while banning “adult” content, Tumblr allows White supremacists, and other hate groups, to remain active and vocal. Joining us to discuss content management, tech cultures, and who gets to decide what’s inappropriate, is Indira Neill Hoch, a visiting assistant professor of communications at UIC. Her forthcoming co-edited volume is titled A Tumblr Book Platform and Cultures.