🏳️🌈 Tumblr Reconsiders ‘Adult Content’
Tumblr has settled with the New York City Commission on Human Rights over claims that the blogging platform's 2018 adult content ban disproportionately discriminated against the LGBTQ community. According to The Verge, Tumblr has agreed to revise its user appeals process, revisit old cases, and retrain human moderators against potential bias.
The settlement, which was reached without legal complaint or proceedings, could open the door to wider regulations against social media companies.
Tumblr will further revise its moderation algorithm and has "180 days to hire an expert on sexual orientation and gender identity issues and provide related training to moderators," according to the settlement.
“I think it’s inevitable that social media companies are going to come under more government regulation and that more of these enforcement actions are going to come about,” Alberto Rodriguez, an attorney for the city's commission, said of the deal’s implications.
Social media platforms remain a largely toxic environment for the Queer community. GLAAD determined that Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter were all unsafe for LGBTQ users and that 64% of those users experienced hate speech and harassment online—more than any other group. According to NPR, both Facebook and Twitter have introduced new tools in the last year to help Queer users mitigate harassment on their platforms.
As various states enact anti-LGBTQ legislation, having Tumblr and other social media sites work to protect the Queer community is a net positive (if you'll pardon the pun). Though it'll be left to see how much online protections and behaviors affect real-world ones.