Tumblr made its name years ago as a great place to post images. It was always a kind of photo album journal site. Unlike Facebook and other places that were more about text, Tumblr did a really good job with pictures. Other sites have since moved into that territory but what really made Tumblr stand out was that it became a great place to host images featuring nudity, these weren't welcome elsewhere: everything from personal nudity (people documenting their own bodies), subjects to do with sexuality (especially alternative and queer sexuality), health, grooming, porn, and adult comics.
Tumblr seems to have recently been either bought out by a big corporate entity, courting new advertisers, or both and as a consequence the adult images that were the ONLY thing that made it special and differentiated it from all the other millions of image hosting sites are not welcome anymore. As of the 18th of December anyone who is hosting “adult” content has to GTFO of Tumblr. You guys who hosted your work there and brought them millions of visitors are no longer wanted. You made it as a site and now you're not needed.
Various rationales to do with people posting illegal porn content have been floated as the reasons for this but those are pretty easy to see through.
I'm here to tell you that DD has always welcomed adult comics. We've been around since 2002 and we're STILL here. Please post your adult work here (rated correctly of course). Unlike pornhub we're actually a comic website, and unlike other comic websites we're not going to restrict your content by quibbling about the differences between “adult” and “porn”. As long as it's legal and you have permission to post it, go ahead!
Now that's out of the way let's talk about the broader issue of censorship, especially how it pertains to the internet.
For many years the internet was an extremely free place, a sort of wild west with everything available. Various governments have moved to limit that but it never really worked. What HAS worked is corporate control as the internet is now controlled by fewer and fewer tech behemoths. The giants of Apple, Google and Facebook now control a colossal amount of web traffic between them and they've successfully contrived to limit the amount of “adult” material that is available to people. There is still just as much material out there as ever there was and more every day, but in the ways that people normally use the net now (goggle searches, Youtube, phone aps etc), it's increasingly unavailable. We're not just talking about porn here but ANY expression of normal adult sexuality from health to art, to entertainment, to education!
The counter argument is as it has always been: “Won't somebody think of the children!”
It's emotive, there seems to be logic behind it, the idea of “protecting” children is a powerful one! And if a few hundred million innocents posting about art, health and sexuality get caught up in the crusade against porn… well so be it! That's just the price you have to pay to “protect” the children.
But let's just have a closer look at that idea shall we?
The USA is the best example because it contains the largest single population of English speakers. Only 22.6% of the population is under 18 years of age, meaning you're actively treating the vast majority of your population like children for the sake of that minority. (https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045217)
Let's unpack that further…
I'd argue that people who're at at least 15 are perfectly able to handle images of nudity and understand sexuality, especially in terms of art, health, and entertainment. That fits in with guidelines world wide for the ratings on such material. Unfortunately I don't know the exact percentage. There are also children under 5 who make up 6.1 % of the population who're too young to use technology without supervision and wouldn't be able to find or understand that material anyway. This means that the true amount of “children” who we're bowdlerising the internet for probably make up less than 14% of the whole population! (subtracting those under 5 and a guess at those between 15 and 18)
Also, keep in mind that these children are the responsibility of their parents and guardians who are far better placed to control their internet access than anyone else, and many internet services either preclude the use by people under a certain age (Facebook), or have age restrictions in pace (YouTube). So the move to censor the internet has absolutely zero basis in real world logic.
So what is the true reason for the crusade against adult sexuality on the internet?
It's quite hard to untangle where this bizarre, almost perverted policy comes from. For a start we have old ingrained socially conservative taboos against nudity that are cultural. There's an idea that those are based in Christianity, but this is wrong: Most of the world's cultures have a weird dual nature where sexuality is open and permissible on one hand and banned and hidden on the other. Look at the history, art, literature and artefacts of any culture and you'll see examples of both extremes existing at the same time.
In the present day there have been initiatives like the “protect the children act”, “anti-trafficking* and anti-porn crusades; all misguided patriarchal initiatives promoted by left and rightwing groups equally, for their own reasons, but the results are the same.
As far as I can see the motive is ”control“, using emotive ideas like ”protection“ and tapping into historical taboos in order to gain legitimacy for the idea. But ”control“ for what motive? The answer is ”for its own sake" because having a handle on something makes it easier to use: i.e you use it as an excuse to ban and censor individuals (popular with governments), force businesses to behave in certain ways or pay for certain services (popular with Apple and Google), exclude and marginalise certain groups (punish gay people etc).
*Thank-you to Tantz for lending an insight to help with the conclusion
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ozoneocean at 12:00AM, Dec. 15, 2018
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