CNN Puts Tumblr Porn-Ban Bot To The Test, Finds ‘It Needs Work’

Within days of the social media platform Tumblr putting its new blanket ban on porn and most nude images into effect, problems with the site’s automatic content filtering software, or “bot,” became evident. As AVN.com reported,  even images that the site’s own policy deemed acceptable were being screened out by the filter.

Those inadvertently blocked images included examples posted by the site itself as examples of what was, indeed, okay to post on Tumblr—but when the same images were re-uploaded by a third-party user, the site’s bot blocked them. Images of Jesus and the comic book character Wonder Woman were also filtered out

Now, more than two weeks after the Tumblr porn ban officially took effect, CNN has tested the Tumblr bot for itself, and found that the technology “needs work.” 

“A picture of a woman breastfeeding a baby. A fully clothed woman taking selfies in the mirror. A photo of a vase. These images were all wrongly flagged by Tumblr as improper,” wrote CNN Business reporter Rachel Metz on Wednesday. “Tumblr began its crackdown on adult content several weeks ago. But behind the scenes its technology still struggles to figure out the difference between what’s banned and approved nudity.”

Metz reported that CNN set up a “test Tumblr page and posted photos that don’t violate the service’s policy but might be challenging for AI to sort out. Images included nude sculptures, bare-breasted political demonstrators, and unclothed mannequins.”

While the majority of the images submitted by CNN were uploaded to Tumblr with no issues, others were blocked from being seen on the site by the Tumblr bot.

Tumblr would not comment to CNN about why the supposedly acceptable images were blocked.

But Tumblr users were already searching for new online outlets to post erotic or nude imagery.

“Many people are scrambling to relocate their fetish communities in the wake of Tumblr’s ban on ‘adult content,'” Alexander Cheves, an LBGTQ writer told sex columnist Dan Savage. “Porn is more than hot videos—porn creates communities.”

Savage, in his January 2 syndicated “Savage Love” column, explained why online outlets for sexual content remain important, and why the Tumblr porn ban could cause actual harm—to LGBTQ youth, in particular.

“And as long as sex-education programs don’t cover queer sex or kinky sex—and there’s no sign of improvement in either area—LGBTQ youth and young people with kinks will continue to get their sexual education on the internet,” Savage wrote. “And the harder it is to access explicit content, particularly explicit noncommercial content, the harder it’s going to be for young queers to find not just smut that speaks to them, but the education they need to protect themselves.”

Tumblr, Inc./Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

 

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Originally published on: https://avn.com/business/articles/technology/cnn-puts-tumblr-porn-ban-bot-to-the-test-finds-it-needs-work-811562.html

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