MAY 12, 2012 11:00PM

Pornterest Vs. Pornstagram Vs. Tumblr’s #NSFW

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Wow, Pinterest’s porn section is fairly tame. I was just curious about the type of not-so-mommy-friendly content that might be popping up on what’s now the third-most popular social network after Facebook and Twitter. (Also I’m bored). After all, Tumblr houses, like, a lot of porn.

Both services aim to help their members find platforms for self-expression, one through pinning images for inspiration, the other through blogging, and both have also had to fight unwanted content on their networks.

For example, both Tumblr and Pinterest recently implemented changes to their Terms of Service banning self-injury and self-harm. This includes the cult of the “thinspo” posters, who like to find “inspirational” imagery encouraging and celebrating their anorexia-induced starvation.

Tumblr seemingly took a more proactive stance in its bans, announcing it would apply the policy on a blog-by-blog basis. And yet today, thinspo searches on Tumblr bring back hundreds of posts of jetting collarbones, ribs poking out, thighs that don’t touch, and more. Sadly, these are mostly fashion industry photos, so what can you do?

Pinterest, which enacted a similar ban on thinspo and other self-harm imagery, a month after Tumblr did, has also apparently had a tough time keeping thinspo off its site. Searches reveal this is still a popular topic for its users.

Even Instagram isn’t immune to this community, which is incredibly tough to police. When is a photo art, versus something encouraging a disease?

That’s why it’s interesting how the three social services far on other NSFW topics. You know, the dirty ones. There’s no #porn or #sex on Instagram, at least not that which you can query up by tag, that is. Depending on when you query it, the #porno tag is either pretty lame or shows full-on nudity. #Pornstar is about the same. But then someone told me about #pornstagram, and yep, there you go. Plus, all those pictures are tagged with other words that can lead you down the Instagram rabbit hole of shame. (To get to the raunchier stuff, you have dig into the tags and accounts of the users posting the images).

Pinterest, I first thought, was much cleaner. Apparently, there, porn means food porn, art and kind of silly posts (Kermit watching a nature show with frogs doing it, e.g.). A search for pornstar gets a little dirtier. But guess what mommies like to post? (hint: it’s not T&A) Still, the section itself is very small. (The section, I said.) But seriously, even searches for a certain “c” word return pictures of chickens. I guess women really do prefer recipes and shopping to hot, hot sex? Then I found some other boards. Oh, I guess not.

Tumblr however, gets freakin’ filthy. I mean, really, really #NSFW. It’s been said that Tumblr’s secret to success is its adult content. Several years ago, that was probably true. Today, Quantcast’s Tumblr subdomains’ stats show that content has diversified quite a bit. No longer are adult sites the majority of the top destinations on the network. But did it scale on top of porn? Of course it did. And those sites are still out there, if you dig through the subdomain rankings.

And let’s get real here: Tumblr’s own content guidelines have long stated that it’s A-OK with porn. Just tag it #NSFW and don’t upload adult videos (embed, them, says Tumblr).

Why is this important? Well, maybe it isn’t. I mean, this is the Internet after all, it’s not all kittens and rainbows out there. It’s not a new problem either. (Hi,Flickr).

But I find it funny that the services are taking the time to worry about the sad, disturbed kids cutting and starving themselves, and yet, aren’t worried all that much about the fact that they’re hosting teens’ posts and photos alongside some very, very adult content. At least some porn sites have the decency to make kids do a little “what year were you born” math before seeing this kind of stuff. There’s not a warning message in front of, but Tumblr does tone down what you see if you’re not logged in. (The company says it has developed several “tools for filtering and warning users about ‘nsfw’ content,” and wil soon be adding more.)

Look, porn has its place in society, and always will. And, really, it’s fine if all these user-gen content services want to host it. And it’s fine if you want to go check it out. I don’t care. But let’s not rave too much about they have the best interests of kids in mind when they launch outreach efforts to save kids from the evils of thinsporation and whatnot.

They have a nifty PR campaign, but at the end of the day, they’re fine with porn. And they’re not that concerned about what kids see on their site. And, yes, some of this stuff still matters.

Pinterest has 11 million registered users.

Tumblr, 50 million blogs (some users have multiple blogs)

Instagram, some 50 million users.

Image via badkikgirl on Instagram

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