Friday, July 19, 2013

I’ve seen many variations on this response my article, but I think you need to double-check the reality of Tumblr’s new content restrictions, because switching off Safe Mode does NOT allow you free access to all the content on Tumblr.

Yes, if you have Safe Mode switched off, you will be able to see some posts from NSFW blogs on public tags. HOWEVER, you will NOT be able to see any posts from Adult blogs (ie, blogs that have been classified as posting “substantial” amounts of adult-oriented content). The above chart from Tumblr’s content policy page illustrates this quite clearly.

Right now anyone with an Adult-rated blog has effectively been cut off from the rest of Tumblr, no matter what they are posting. The reason why you can still see some NSFW/Adult content on public tags like #porn or #gay is either because it’s coming from a NSFW-rated blog (rather than an Adult-rated blog), or because it’s coming from a blog that hasn’t yet been flagged as NSFW or Adult. Basically, Tumblr is not blocking NSFW content, it is blocking any content from Adult-rated blogs.

  • If your blog is rated Safe and you post NSFW or pornographic content, it will still show up in tags. (However, you will eventually end up being flagged as NSFW or Adult, because you’ve been posting NSFW content.)
  • If your blog is rated NSFW and you post any content at all, it will only show up in tags to users who are not in Safe Mode. This is regardless of whether you’re posting pornography, a single-word text post, or a picture of your lunch.
  • If your blog is rated Adult, none of your posts will ever show up in public tags, to any users at all.

The basic concept of Safe Mode has the potential to work perfectly well, in that that many users want to block out NSFW content for themselves. However, this is not what Tumblr’s new content restrictions actually do. While you do have the option of choosing to view no NSFW blogs at all, there is no way for anyone to search for any content on Adult blogs. For example, if your Tumblr has been rated Adult and you post some G-rated Disney fanart to the #Disney tag, it will not show up anywhere except on your followers’ dashboards, and that’s only if your followers are not browsing in Safe Mode.


  1. fullyactivated reblogged this from hellotailor and added:
    I’m just reblogging this because I decided I wanted to start reblogging more content that some people may find too adult...
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    I think I answered my own question. So for something like 9 risque photos (over a two year period) which all but like...
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    I much prefer dreamwidth. I am (predictably) tptigger over there. I just prefer it as a platform. And because they’re...
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