The site, founded in 2007, makes the move about three weeks after its app was removed from Apple's App Store following some child sex abuse content appearing on Tumblr.
Even though the site works with groups including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to screen uploaded material, some content got on the site. After it was spotted, "we immediately removed this content," Tumblr said in an update posted on its site. "Content safeguards are a challenging aspect of operating scaled platforms. We’re continuously assessing further steps we can take to improve and there is no higher priority for our team."
"We spent considerable time weighing the pros and cons of expression in the community that includes adult content," Tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio wrote in a post on the site. "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."
Quickly, an online backlash ensued and the hashtag #tumblrisdead emerged on Twitter. "The place served as a great site for underground artists of all content - including those who like SEX," offered one poster.
Tumblr's ability to offer "the mix of images representing ALL ones life interests" made it unique, said another Twitter poster. Now "it won't fulfill an important part of life," he continued.
Tumblr "was the last place on the internet that wasn't restrictive," said another. "Very sad loss for the Internet."