Tumblr bans nudity to create ‘a safe place for creative expression’

In a change the micro-blogging platform says is designed to help more creators feel comfortable expressing themselves, Tumblr will soon ban nudity. Beginning on December 17, Tumblr will begin banning content that violates new community guidelines, and will also begin using artificially intelligent filters and a team of staff members to prevent the content from appearing on the platform.

The adult content ban is for photos, videos, and GIFs “that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples” along with any visual content “that depicts sex acts.” The ban is only for visual media — written content that falls under categories for erotica will still be permitted, the new community guidelines state. The platform also has a few exceptions to the new ban on nudity in images, allowing images that depict breastfeeding, and also permitting nudity in sculptures and other fine art, for example.

The change comes shortly after the Tumblr app was removed from the App Store due to reported child pornography — but to be clear, Tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio says the platform has always had a zero-tolerance policy for content harmful to minors. He says the platform is continuing to invest in enforcing that policy, including increasing machine learning algorithms, expanding human moderators, and expanding user tools for reporting abuse.

Like the slip that ended up getting the app temporarily removed from the App Store, D’Onofrio says there will be mistakes that the automated system doesn’t catch and the process won’t happen overnight as the platform moves to eliminate adult content.

“It is our continued, humble aspiration that Tumblr be a safe place for creative expression, self-discovery, and a deep sense of community,” he wrote in a blog post. “As Tumblr continues to grow and evolve, and our understanding of our impact on our world becomes clearer, we have a responsibility to consider that impact across different age groups, demographics, cultures, and mindsets. We spent considerable time weighing the pros and cons of expression in the community that includes adult content. In doing so, it became clear that without this content we have the opportunity to create a place where more people feel comfortable expressing themselves.”

Content flagged under the new guidelines will not be deleted, but the privacy settings will be altered so that the content can only be viewed by the original creator. Users who feel the content doesn’t fall under the new restrictions can appeal the decision inside the Android app or from the web platform. 

Written sexual content, Tumblr says, which doesn’t violate the updated guidelines, will still have filters that do not allow users under age 18 to view the content. D’Onofrio says the new guidelines are designed to create a balance that still allows users to freely discuss topics “like art, sex positivity, your relationships, your sexuality, and your personal journey.”

“There are no shortage of sites on the internet that feature adult content,” D’Onofrio wrote. “We will leave it to them and focus our efforts on creating the most welcoming environment possible for our community.”

Web

Google Translate updated to reduce gender bias in its translations

Google is changing how Google Translate offers translations. Previously when you entered a word like doctor, Translate would offer a masculine interpretation of the word. Now, Translate will offer both masculine and feminine versions.
Gaming

Not ready for the new 'Fortnite' winter wonderland? Here's our tourist guide

Fortnite season 7 has arrived with some chilly winter air and some pretty hefty changes to the Battle Royale map. We've got the full guide to all of the map changes, new locations, new terrain, and more, right here.
Computing

How to change your Gmail password in just a few quick steps

Regularly updating your passwords is a good way to stay secure online, but each site and service has their own way of doing it. Here's a quick guide on how to change your Gmail password in a few short steps.
Computing

Change your Outlook password quickly and easily by following these steps

Keeping your digital accounts locked up with strong, unique passwords is important, so learning how to change your Outlook password quickly and easily is one of the best ways to stay safe online.
Social Media

You can now share saved Facebook posts with a Pinterest-like collection tool

Facebook collections can now be shared with friends if you also want to allow them to contribute to the list. Facebook is rolling out an update that allows users to add a contributor to their collections, or lists of saved Facebook posts.
Mobile

Broadway actor tells Kanye West to get off his phone during opening night

Theater actors can get understandably upset when they spot someone in the audience fiddling with their phone instead of watching the show. The other night that audience member was Kanye West, and he got called out for it.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Business

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.