They say that technical innovation often comes from the porn industry, but the same is true of new forms of censorship.
For those who don’t know or remember, Tumblr used to have a policy around porn that was literally “Go nuts, show nuts. Whatever.” That was memorable and hilarious, and for many people, Tumblr both hosted and helped with the discovery of a unique type of adult content.
[N]o modern internet service in 2022 can have the rules that Tumblr did in 2007. I am personally extremely libertarian in terms of what consenting adults should be able to share, and I agree with “go nuts, show nuts” in principle, but the casually porn-friendly era of the early internet is currently impossible….
If you wanted to start an adult social network in 2022, you’d need to be web-only on iOS and side load on Android, take payment in crypto, have a way to convert crypto to fiat for business operations without being blocked, do a ton of work in age and identity verification and compliance so you don’t go to jail, protect all of that identity information so you don’t dox your users, and make a ton of money. I estimate you’d need at least $7 million a year for every 1 million daily active users to support server storage and bandwidth (the GIFs and videos shared on Tumblr use a ton of both) in addition to hosting, moderation, compliance, and developer costs.
Image: Alexander Grey on Unsplash