Tumblr is a mess right now. A large number of popular Tumblr bloggers have left the platform to join other sites. The app has returned to the iOS App Store, but the adult content ban has turned off millions of users. Tumblr has been using AI algorithms to flag the explicit content. It will make NSFW blogs and posts private, meaning only the owners will be able to see them. They will not appear in the search and other users won’t be able to see them.
Tumblr bloggers using these tricks to fool the bots
Tumblr’s censor bots aren’t that advanced. They have been flagging even SFW content such as cartoons, pictures of kids, and Jesus. Even Tumblr’s own announcements were marked as NSFW by its algorithms. The censor bots are downright stupid at this point. They are flagging SFW content on the one hand, and on the other hand, many porn bots are still running rampant on the platform.
THIS got flagged of all things? guess tumblr doesnt like funny drawings pic.twitter.com/9qEWJ11Gpg
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— ianjq (@ianjq) December 4, 2018
The affected Tumblr bloggers are using a variety of tactics to circumvent the censor bots. Some have discovered that the censor bots could be fooled by superimposing certain photos on the original content. They were able to place an owl’s image scaled at 50% on a photo marked as explicit by the censor bots. After putting the owl’s picture, the same post went unnoticed by the bots.
So here's something. Users are testing the limits of Tumblr's new algorithm that flags adult content (aka "censorbot"). This one found that a man's chest was flagged, but a man's chest next a 50% scale owl went unnoticed.
— 𝕮𝖍𝖆𝖕𝖕𝖊𝖑𝖑 𝕰𝖑𝖑𝖎𝖘𝖔𝖓 ಠ_ಠ 2͎0͎2͎0͎ (@ChappellTracker) December 7, 2018
Another trick is to simply add the hashtag “#SFW” and the censor bots won’t flag your post.
YOU CAN GET AROUND TUMBLR'S ALGORITHM SIMPLY BY TAGGING YOUR POST # SFW
THE BOTS ARE LITTERALLY FLOODING TUMBLR AGAIN
TUMBLR HAD ONE JOB AND THEY COMPLETLY FUCKED IT UP
IM FUCKING WHEEZING
— I AM CUTE AND I AM YELLING (@PeachPubby) December 10, 2018
How to get your blog unflagged on Tumblr
Now folks at Piunikaweb have identified a third trick that has worked like a charm for at least one of the Tumblr bloggers. If your blog has been flagged by the censor bots and has been kept private, you should give it a try. However, it involves using HTML and Tumblr could patch this loophole anytime because the company is aware of it. Here’s how it works.
When Tumblr flags your blog, it adds a line of code to enable the explicit toggle in your blog settings. You have to edit the HTML code to undo it. A Tumblr blogger with username archonixafterdark described how they got their blog unflagged. In blog settings, the toggle next to ‘archonixafterdark is explicit’ is enabled and locked by the censor bots to prevent users from turning it off.
The user right-clicked on the toggle and then went to Inspect element. Now you’ll see that the input tag has a Disabled attribute. You have to remove the entire attribute. Once you remove it, the toggle becomes active and unlocked, meaning you can turn it off.
Now you have to refresh the page and you’ll see that it’s no longer kept private or marked explicit. If you ever want to hide your blog, you can edit the toggle from the settings panel to do that. Archonixafterdark says it’s “a perfect example of the laziness of tumblr’s devs.” The developers have not removed the functionality. They have just hidden it a bit.
You can give it a try, but there is no guarantee it would work for you. Tumblr could patch it anytime.
Meanwhile, a large number of Tumblr users have come together for a Log Off Protest. They had logged out of the service for 24 hours. They have also promised to launch a mass tweet campaign to the Tumblr CEO. If the company still doesn’t listen, they will leave the platform for good. Many websites such as Suffra, Explicitr, Sharesome, Pornhub, Pillowfort, and Newgrounds are trying to attract Tumblr bloggers.