Tumblr’s New Algorithm Thinks Garfield Is Explicit Content


Yesterday, Tumblr announced that it will ban all adult content starting December 17th. As users logged into their accounts, they have seen that some of their posts now have a red banner across them, marking them as flagged for explicit content. The problem is, a lot of these posts are hilariously far from being pornographic.

It’s pretty clear that these flags are being done based on an algorithm, and the algorithm is finding false positives. Here’s a list of things that got flagged: a fully clothed woman, a drawing of a dragon, fan-art of of characters from the anime Haikyu!!, art from the children’s book The Princess Who Saved Herself that the author of said book posted, a drawing of a bowl of fruit with mouths, a video of abstract blurs, Garfield.

I am sure that some porn got flagged as well, but a lot of what the algorithm flagged doesn’t look very “explicit.”

Oh, and here’s an image that was not flagged. This one’s not safe for work, if you can believe it.

Out of curiosity, I hopped on my own, barely used Tumblr to see what, if anything was flagged. This reblog was.

This wasn’t.

Getting rid of the porn bots and pedophilia is a good move for Tumblr’s parent company and investors. Their algorithm could use some work, though.