Pornhub isn’t buying Tumblr; porn ban still in place

The Asian Age.

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Contrary to wide speculation, Pornhub is officially out of the race to acquire Tumblr.

Tumblr has been acquired by Automattic.

After two years at the helm, Verizon will be selling Tumblr, the blogging platform to Automattic, the brand behind Wordpress.com. For the past year or so, rumours were flying around that Pornhub intended to purchase Tumblr; however, it appears that this deal has fallen through with Automattic coming up as front-runners for the niche social network. Automattic CEO, Matt Mullenweg has stated that he intends to keep the Tumblr porn ban in place and in the process, breaking the hearts of millions of individuals who expected the porn ban to be lifted with the sale.

With this new acquisition, it is Automattic’s largest purchase in terms of both price tag and staff size. Speaking to Hacker News, Mullenweg stated, “Adult content is not our forte either, and it creates a huge number of potential issues with app stores, payment providers, trust and safety. It’s a problem area best suited for companies fully dedicated to creating a great experience there. I personally have very liberal views on these things, but supporting adult content as a business is very different.”

As part of a Tumblr post, Mullenweg said that he is fully supportive of the social media’s community. "I have worked on WordPress my entire adult life — 16 years now — and so the democratization of publishing is near and dear to my heart. Tumblr and WordPress have always been very philosophically aligned there," he said.

Verizon Media CEO, Guru Gowrappan, in a statement said that Tumblr is a venue that’s known for sharing ideas, cultures and experiences. He went on to add, “Today’s announcement is the culmination of a thoughtful, thorough and strategic process. Tumblr is a marquee brand that has started movements, allowed for true identities to blossom and become home to many creative communities and fandoms. We are proud of what the team has accomplished and are happy to have found the perfect partner in Automattic.”

With this new information being passed, speculation that Pornhub would be acquiring Tumblr has officially ended. In an email to Buzzfeed News in May, VP Corey Price said that Pornhub was extremely interested in purchasing Tumblr. Since then, rumours began circulating that Verizon was looking to sell Tumblr after missing revenue targets.

Under Verizon, Tumblr’s life has been extremely horrific. Last December, Tumblr announced that it would be banning porn on its platform. NSFW content has always been one of the highlighted features of the social media website’s community and since the porn ban, there was a mass exodus of users. Prior to the ban, Tumblr was viewed as the best place for independently created and curated pornographic content for the LGBTQ community and young women the world over.

Buzzfeed News reports, “Tumblr was also heavily criticized for poor implementation of the pornography ban. Its AI flagged nonpornographic content, which ironically may have increased user engagement because everyone started making memes about it. The news in May that Pornhub was considering purchasing Tumblr was exciting for some fans of the social network who were hoping a new owner would restore Tumblr to its NSFW glory.”

While Automattic will continue to enforce the Tumblr porn ban, it is worth mentioning that Wordpress is open to NSFW content such as texts, images and videos containing nudity. Wordpress, however, does not allow its users to host explicit pornographic content.

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