Rod Dreher

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Alas For Social Justice Perverts

 What good news!:

The internet is home to a plethora of destinations offering adults-only content. But soon, Tumblr won’t be one of them.

The microblogging platform announced Monday that it is banning adult content. In, naturally, a Tumblr post, Chief Executive Jeff D’Onofrio said the move was meant to promote “a better, more positive Tumblr.”

The move appears to stem from a recent dispute Tumblr had with Apple’s iOS App Store. The Tumblr app was not available as of Nov. 16, news site the Verge reported, and a post from Tumblr indicated it was related to an issue with the filter the site used to automatically remove child pornography.

“Every image uploaded to Tumblr is scanned against an industry database of known child sexual abuse material, and images that are detected never reach the platform. A routine audit discovered content on our platform that had not yet been included in the industry database,” Tumblr said in the post.

Monday’s announcement said the ban on adult content will be enforced beginning Dec. 17.

More:

Over the years, Tumblr has also struggled with swarms of porn bots. A Tumblr blog called Purge the Bots was created this year to raise awareness of the problem and update users on what actions the site was taking to address it. A total ban on adult content could solve the problem, though possibly at the cost of users who are on Tumblr specifically for adult content.

Well, too bad for them. I’m glad Apple did what it did, and that Tumblr has made this switch.

Alas, America’s most famous Fake Vagina Haver™ is upset:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The BBC’s reporter laments the effect on the “marginalized”:

Unlike typical pornography sites, which overwhelmingly cater to men, and serve an often narrow definition of what is attractive, Tumblr has been a home for something else – content tailored at vibrant LGBT communities, or for those with tastes you might not necessarily share with all your friends.

If society deems it acceptable for any porn to be on the internet, then that acceptance must surely be inclusive. Unlike most of those other sites Mr D’Onofrio speaks of, Tumblr has been a space where different body types are sexually celebrated, not degraded.

…  Many on Tumblr have been fearing a porn ban since the network was acquired by fading web giant Yahoo in 2013. That time, the adult content was allowed to remain. But in 2017, when Yahoo was acquired by Oath, the digital arm of telecoms giant Verizon, the writing was on the wall.

“I had feared this day would come,” wrote one user, who runs a fetish account, in response to the chief executive’s message on Monday.

“I’m so sad to see this happen, and can’t believe I’ll be losing this blog. I honestly don’t know what I’ll do without it, but I truly hope that the kinky community comes up with a new place for us all to get together and share.”

Not The Onion! Alas, poor degenerates. I’m sure they’ll get by somehow.

In The Washington Post, John Paul Brammer laments Tumblr’s cleaning itself up, saying that it made him who he is. Again, not a joke! Excerpt:

“Do you have a Tumblr?”

I asked this question a lot in college after coming out as gay my junior year. I joined the campus Gay-Straight Alliance, sure. I downloaded dating and hookup apps. I met people. But in my “baby gay years” in Oklahoma, nothing ensured a connection like meeting a fellow user of the micro-blogging site.

First, it meant you were probably queer; the platform is a hub for LGBTQ discourse. But being on Tumblr also meant you had an offbeat sense of humor, an interest in social justice and, of course, a fondness for utter filth. Tumblr, more than any other social media site, has been a veritable clearinghouse for porn.

More:

It’s a setback not only to the many sex workers, kink fans and artists who populate the site but also to the Tumblr ethos itself, which drew in so many queer people and made us feel at home, especially those of us in remote parts of the country without an immediate community to connect to. Explicit content played a crucial part in creating that space, so it’s unsurprising the ban has been widely received as Tumblr’s death knell.

I don’t condone all of Tumblr’s explicit content. What’s wrong on Tumblr, such as depictions of abusive or nonconsensual sex acts, would be wrong elsewhere. But with the ethical stuff, Tumblr exposed me to forms of sexuality I had not previously considered and, even if they weren’t for me, expanded my thinking about sex and about myself.

This is supposed to be a reason why Tumblr’s banning porn is a bad thing? It’s hard to wrap one’s mind around the idea that here is a man who is praising a kinky pornography site for being a major formative influence on his character. If it’s really the case that indulging “a fondness for utter filth” is key to learning how to be a gay man, then who in their right mind would want their kid to be socialized into that culture? Brammer, raised in Oklahoma by parents who accepted his homosexuality, is certainly confounding the bourgeois media narrative.

Like the BBC writer, he ends by mourning the pain that the “vulnerable” will now suffer because they won’t be able to access pornography on the platform. This has to be the ultimate SJW Millennial take: howling in protest that cutting porn from a microblogging site hurts the marginalized.

The Muslim blogger Ismail Royer predicts what’s coming next from professional Muslim activists:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Seriously, how did we become the kind of culture where celebrating kinky porn is a respectable point of view? No culture I want to be a part of, for sure.

As an aside, if you are the kind of conservative Christian who thinks that Muslims like Ismail Royer are your enemy, and not a vital ally against the pornification of the American character, you really need to re-think your position. What we need is a practical intersectionality of the morally sane.

UPDATE: The Washington Post publishes a second column from a Millennial — this one a female member of its editorial board — who sees Tumblr’s porn ban as a blow to the “vulnerable,” and as an occasion of mourning. I’m not kidding. Excerpt:

Mourning Tumblr’s pornographic content is more than mourning sexy GIFs. It’s mourning openness. The Internet democratized sex; suddenly, what was once too taboo to access without stigma was available to anyone with a screen and a search engine. Tumblr made that democratized system more democratic still. Its independent model emphasized performers’ agency, which meant posters’ output was more likely to be ethical and not exploitative. And a focus on creativity over merely clicks for cash led to bodies that were not stereotypically porn-ready, sexualities that sold less well on the mainstream market, kinks that were not presented as some strange sort of “other. ”

This is the sort of porn it is worth shedding a tear or two over, and its loss is a sign that an Internet that once seemed limitless may be getting a little smaller. It is hard to say now what the world will look like with a slightly less wide Web. One thing, though, is certain: We’ll know it when we see it.

I understand that people like pornography. People are subject to vices of all kinds. Geezer that I am, though, I am gobsmacked by these claims that porn is character-building and civic-minded. What astonishing corruption has overtaken our elites.

UPDATE.2: A Catholic reader from France e-mails:

“As an aside, if you are the kind of conservative Christian who thinks that Muslims like Ismail Royer are your enemy, and not a vital ally against the pornification of the American character, you really need to re-think your position. What we need is a practical intersectionality of the morally sane.”

I am glad to see you’ve finally come to the position I’ve reached a long time ago – and for which I’ve been mocked and abused by my coreligionists for almost as long.

The normalization/mainstreamization of porn is one of the most irksome features of this “culture”, for it’s not just about filth being available to everybody, it also affects people’s behaviour. I don’t have a problem with people watching others having sex on a screen; my beef is when they start boasting about it, discussing it as though it was one of the noblest pursuits of mankind or “no big deal”. Twenty years ago, people who watched porn did it behind closed doors and didn’t tell anyone because while “everybody did it” it was usually considered a pastime for losers with no sex lives of their own or couples in need of fresh ideas. Fox Mulder with his videotapes “that didn’t belong to him” was pretty much typical of the porn viewer of the era.

Move twenty years on and porn is everywhere and almost regarded as a fundamental right; even worse people pornify their own lives, flaunting their sexual exploits as they would talk about what they had for dinner last night, and the more people in the know the better. Celebrities and the media as often show the way ahead. I mean, you know pretty much everything you need to know about the situation when one of the most popular podcasts in the world is called “My Dad Wrote a Porno” and frequently has famous people coming to talk about sex, including their own sex lives, in graphic and foul detail. Whatever happened to the very notion of privacy? Of course uttering a single word in opposition brands you immediately a “prude” or “judgmental” but one of the reasons why I don’t have kids is that I don’t want them to grow up in a culture in which famous entertainers boast about being Grindr users.

So yes, as I said to you previously, I hold no grudge against Muslims, provided of course that they don’t try to impose their beliefs and rituals upon me. Since none has tried so far, I regard them as allies, not threats.

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103 Responses to Alas For Social Justice Perverts

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  1. Lynnaea says:

    Tumblr isn’t banning the gay community, but that’s how these articles read. What does it say about one’s community that there is literally nothing left to talk about without porn?

  2. bob says:

    Oh, it is to weep. Cheer up, they’ll find a way to both publish and perish. The poor censored folks should ask, no, demand space on a university funded website. Find out which ones (I especially hope the Ivies have to answer) will embrace the un-embraceable and celebrate the ick-able with their public face. It’s likely various liberal church groups and such would lend a hand or some other anatomy for such a project. Part of “mission” work they’d call it. The grosser the better.

  3. Matt in VA says:

    Tumblr was drowning in a sea of child p**n, HIV fetishization, and other stuff of nightmares, and had no choice but to shut it all down. I honestly cannot imagine working at a place like these internet content sites (Youtube too) and having it forced on you day in and day out what is out there and what depths human sexuality is capable of descending to.

    BUT — look at what happened to Gawker. Its writers simply dispersed to various other websites, like a swollen fungus that, when popped, releases its spores into the air to settle wherever the four winds take them. It’s possible that Tumblr was serving as a containment zone and I wonder where this stuff is going to end up next.

    As an aside, if you are the kind of conservative Christian who thinks that Muslims like Ismail Royer are your enemy, and not a vital ally against the pornification of the American character, you really need to re-think your position. What we need is a practical intersectionality of the morally sane.

    OK. This is probably intended as an aside, on your part, but the somewhat moralizing tone makes me really want to respond. Think of this as me trying to do my best to stir the pot. OK…

    What exactly is “practical” about this kind of multicultural thinking?

    This kind of thinking reminds me of Robert George bringing “believing Christians, Jews, and Muslims” (he loved to use that phrase and took every opportunity to do so) together to stop gay marriage with natural law arguments… oh, whooops. A fake “alliance” that oh-so-conveniently is *multicultural* is proffered as the solution for a serious cultural problem, even though the alliance seems perfectly designed to appeal to the sentiments and sensibilities of people who work inside the Beltway (note that this Ismail guy is a think-tanker, of course) or at Harvard, the kinds of people who care about being Diverse and about Inclusion — you really still accept your enemy’s terms for what is acceptable and even “effective.” Multiculturalism, mass immigration, and borders and nations that are meaningless and unenforced, but somehow people of faith will still come together to fight porn or gay marriage. What a disaster!

    When do “believing Christians, Jews, and Muslims” come together to actually accomplish *anything*? Please, let me know. You’re the longtime conservative… cast your eyes across human history… I’ll wait…

    One need not feel any particular disdain for Islam or Muslims and still feel that saying that “to save the West/America, we need Muslims as our vital allies!” really tells you all you need to know about whether there is even something to save, in your worldview. Islam is not American or Western and in fact you lose much of what the “West” even is or was if it is to become Islamic. The same is true about Hinduism or Buddhism. One need not feel negatively toward them to understand that they are NOT Western and what they feel about an issue in the West is NOT important. And if it is important, you’re going to find that in terms of what you value and (supposedly) want to conserve, you’re going to lose a lot, a hell of a lot more.

    Basically, you accept the notion of a multiculti West, a West that is neutral between the hugely different truth claims and, more importantly, the hugely different concrete realities of these religions, and yet you think that we’re/they’re gonna come together to ban porn.

    The truth is that the Islamic attitude toward the body itself and the Christian attitude toward the body itself are so fundamentally and hugely and earth-shakingly different that you will have problems much bigger than Internet porn if this multiculti world is realized. Islam is NOT Western, period, and the simplest, most cursory look at Western art ALONE would tell you that they are INCOMPATIBLE.

    Honestly, there’s something here that is similar to the idea that “we have to stop having babies in order to fight climate change.” What are you conserving or preserving for future generations? Islam is a civilizational choice. So is Hinduism. So is Christianity. So are all the major religions. We have very, very serious problems. But the idea that the problem of internet porn will be fixed because we form a multicultural team is just so… typical liberal. It really is. It’s like the idea that conservatives have that it would be best if they can get a woman onto the Supreme Court because that’ll make things go a lot smoother if they ever overturn Roe v. Wade. No, it won’t. It will not make a dime’s worth of difference. You either have the stones to do something like that, and enforce it, or you don’t (and you don’t.) You play by your enemy’s rules, you think on *their* terms, and you wonder why you lose, lose, lose, lose, lose….

    Do you love the tradition of Western art? I think you do. Please re-think this attitude that a multiculti alliance, a United States/a West that’s whoever can make it here, without even the barest most thin bit of shared history, is what we need. We may be in bad shape, but this particular attitude — how can you love our visual arts heritage, our Western and Christian arts tradition, and think this way? There is no space for our art, for our very history, in Islam, only annihilation. How can you not see that? I wish them well, but this is a civilizational choice we are talking about.

  4. Noah172 says:

    As an aside, if you are the kind of conservative Christian who thinks that Muslims like Ismail Royer are your enemy, and not a vital ally against the pornification of the American character, you really need to re-think your position

    Never heard of Royer, but how common is the sort of person you are implying: a Muslim who is politically active or at least conscious, conservative but not a fundie or jihadist sympathizer, and willing to ally with (mostly white, mostly evangelical, mostly pro-Zionist) conservative Christians on (some) culture war matters despite differences on other issues (immigration, Israel, counterterrorism, Christian symbols in public places)? Thinking of Muslims in the American political and media realms, you’ve got leftists (Keith Ellison, the two newly-elected Muslim Congressladies), the odd secular globalist (Fareed Zakaria), and the fundie wackos (imams at radicalized mosques; presumably anti-porn, but but not worthy allies). Not many (any?) Rod-as-Muslim types, unless you can correct my perception.

  5. Matt in VA says:

    Chesterton never made the mistake of thinking that a healthy, sane, thriving culture would come about through a multicultural alliance all joining together — he would have pointed out immediately (and did!) that the multiculturalism itself means you don’t even have agreement on what the culture *is* and that when you are in that position you are in NO position to reform it. Chesterton’s “The Flying Inn” might be a good start — in that book it is the liberals who think Islam will solve their problems, but then there *is* something quite liberal in your framework here.

    Same with C.S. Lewis. Lewis went out of his way in his final Narnia book “The Last Battle” to defend himself from charges of bigotry against Muslims and to show that he bore them no ill will. But he would never have said that “Narnia’s problems will be fixed when it allows Calormenes to have an important role in forming the country’s institutions and determining its norms.” He would have known that that is a recipe for disaster and a cure worse than the disease.

    One shouldn’t turn away people who want to ally with you, and I’m not saying *that.* But the whole “Let me take this opportunity to lecture conservative Christians on not being multicultural enough!”…. it is not what is wanted, at all.

    [NFR: Oh good grief, really? I say one nice thing about Muslims who are much greater friends and allies to us than porn-addled sexual revolutionaries who write demented garbage in our mainstream media, and now suddenly I’m Tony Blair circa 1999? — RD]

  6. Philly guy says:

    “… narrow definition of attractive.” Sorry, some of us are picky.

  7. Fran Macadam says:

    Yeah, “safe spaces” for the depraved and “utterly filthy.”

    But hey, it’s private companies doing the censoring, so what’s your problem, “progressives”?

  8. I’ve been annoyed with Juan Paul Brammer ever since he tweeted a couple weeks ago that Catholicism is a gory, morbid, nasty religion because we worship a man who was gruesomely executed. Seriously, how clueless can you be? That’s the whole *point.*

  9. Jonathan Scinto says:

    It’s kind of inconvenient. A lot of rule34 content makers I follow have been blocked. This has been a golden age of animated porn. I suppose this further cements Discord, Patreon, and reddit as the goto places for rule34.

  10. Pellegrino says:

    As a gay man, I found Brammer’s article, on the whole, to be thoughtful, balanced, and resonant with my understanding, even though porn had virtually no role in the formation of my sexual identity. I didn’t discover Tumblr until my 40s, well after coming out. I was aware of gay porn, but not a consumer. I just liked boys more than girls. If anything, my limited exposure to *straight* porn did more to reinforce my gay identity: no matter how hard I tried to make myself like it, straight sex just wasn’t that interesting to me.

    But then, I was able to get through Brammer’s article sans defibrillator and smelling salts, because I’m not obsessed with policing anyone’s erotic imagination, gay or straight. Different folks, different strokes, so long as no one is being subjected to abusive, non-consensual acts (which includes being of the age of consent). I recognize Tumblr as an online gathering place for a wildly diverse crew and a potential lifeline for isolated gay or kinky folks stuck in rural/oppressive/unwelcoming communities.

    Re: Brammer’s mention of a fondness for “filth” among Tumblr fans (which you deftly extrapolate to a core/normative component of gay men’s identity and formation in your musings)—TBH, I didn’t have a problem with that, either. It’s hardly surprising that a significant portion of the gay population indulges a sexual attitude that is somewhat racier than a conservative Donna Reed/Jimmy Stewart fantasy.

    Gay sexuality was declared unnatural, disgusting, and transgressive, and pushed into the margins throughout history. We were “The Others,” the outlaws, existing in the shadows, and at risk of getting the sh*t beaten out of us (or worse) if discovered. Sexual contact had to be fleeting and secretive. (In some places, that’s still the case.) It was an incredibly scary experience to grow up gay in this country until the last generation or so. I didn’t come out till my thirties.

    So, if that’s the dark box the majority culture has traditionally put us in, I understand the desire of some gay folks to take back the power and own the label on our own terms now, as we FINALLY get a chance to exhale and figure out what it might mean to be gay without fear or apology.

    But here’s the thing (and I know you’re aware of this): the American straight erotic imagination doesn’t hew to the Donna Reed/Jimmy Stewart narrative either. The OVERWHELMING number of Americans who consume porn and indulge in various forms of kink are straight. “That culture,” as you refer to it, is also straight culture. If it’s a problem, it’s not just a gay problem, but it seems the gays are traditionally the easiest ones for conservatives to target and rail about and punish.

  11. Rombald says:

    Matt in VA:
    I know the Calormenes are often thought to be Muslims, but they don’t seem close to me.

    OK, they wear turbans and live in a desert, and there might be some 18th/19th-century anti-Ottoman perceptions mixed in, with the cruelty, decadent sultans, child marriage, etc., but they seem to me to owe much more to OT views of Babylon.

  12. charles cosimano says:

    Relax. They’ll find something better.

  13. Erin says:

    Hi, I’m one of those female “perverts” who got all my porn through Tumblr. I know you’ll never think highly of me, but I’m posting this to remind you that we’re real people too. I valued my Tumblr and it hurts to lose it. It also hurts to read your callous sarcasm about me and my feelings, based on my sexual preferences and activities. You don’t have to agree with me, but could you please at least talk about me with respect for me as a fellow human being?

    [NFR: Turn away from porn. It is ruining you. — RD]

  14. James C. says:

    If it’s really the case that indulging “a fondness for utter filth” is key to learning how to be a gay man, then who in their right mind would want their kid to be socialized into that culture?

    There’s a direct line from this to the Folsom Street Fair, the third-biggest outdoor spectator event in California (San Francisco Pride, also known for its public filth and sex, is #2).

    Don’t listen to the homo-taqiyya that this stuff isn’t mainstream in gay culture. It sure is.

  15. Kessler says:

    Regarding the comment about conservative Christians & Muslims, if this was written by social justice author, it would have been “You should be nicer to Muslims, you bigots”. I certainly don’t think you meant it that way, but the language of intersectional social justice has been thoroughly poisoned for me by all the hate and intolerance of social justice activists.

  16. ludo says:

    From a reader’s comment left on the Post’s Brammer opinion piece: “Porn kills. Ditch it. If you have the courage. Or use it to see what you are attracted to and heal your wounded inner child. Peace. PS I was on a porn set once. Most depressing place. Women were on anxiety meds, the dude exhausted and taking drugs. And I was also on a gay porn set, looking in the eyes of a young man frightened but in need of money. So unsexy. But most people want to live in a fantasy world. Next time you are watching porn, remember the pain (in every send of the word, including longings and childhood wounds) and abuse that often accompanies it. Live in reality, stop the fantasy and what it engenders.”

  17. JonF says:

    Re: What exactly is “practical” about this kind of multicultural thinking?

    It’s how politics woks, Matt. Has been since the demogugues ranting and raving in the Pnyx of ancient Athens. Strange bedfellows and all that. If someone else shares your concerns on issue X you work with him on issue X no matter what your disagreements on issues Y and Z. Strange bedfellows and all that. Why is it so many of the Right regard such alliances of convenience as anathema?

    Re: the Islamic attitude toward the body itself and the Christian attitude toward the body itself are so fundamentally and hugely and earth-shakingly different

    Nowadays of course, sure. But originally Muslim and Christian notions of bodily modesty were cut from the same cloth. Right up until Elizabethan times no decent woman in Christendom went anywhere in public without some manner of head covering– she would have been thought a prostitute if she appeared publicly without covering her hair (and you can find the advice to cover one’s head for women right in the Epistles of St. Paul). When my grandmother was young women’s skirts were expected to reach their ankles (yes, I have some temporally deep roots), and men outside the tropics never wore short pants or short sleeved shirts (in fact even short underwear of the modern type had not yet come around– if it was too hot for the long sort one went commando). It’s only been for about a century that we Christian descended folk decided to uncover the human body and start frolicking all but au naturel openly.

  18. Jim in Ohio says:

    So what constitutes “porn”? Does full frontal nudity of just an individual fit that definition?

    Companies are now more likely to deny services for legal content as a means of virtue signaling (like Twitter).

    Personally, I think this is a trend that should be discouraged since cultural sensitivities seem to change with the wind these days. They recently took “ Baby It’s Cold Outside” off the airwaves in Ohio for the offense taken by a few in the #MeToo movement.

  19. Cererean says:

    I thought you were opposed to censorship by the social media corps, Rod?

    Or is it only stuff you *like* that should be left up, even when it’s, ah, “corrupting the youth”?

    “As an aside, if you are the kind of conservative Christian who thinks that Muslims like Ismail Royer are your enemy, and not a vital ally against the pornification of the American character, you really need to re-think your position.”

    Sorry, I don’t trust scorpions. I know – *all* potential allies are (potentially) scorpions. But if I must, I’d rather ally with the scorpion with least effective sting. Or that gives me enough warning time to shrug them off into the river.

  20. Quickstep says:

    I left Tumblr not too long ago, mostly because of the SJWs, the people griping about their self-diagnosed mental illnesses, and of course, the porn bots that would suddenly follow you. I don’t regret leaving. It was my last true social media account (I don’t think having a blog really counts).

  21. Rob G says:

    ~~But hey, it’s private companies doing the censoring, so what’s your problem, “progressives”?~~

    Man, if its one thing these moderun folks shurly do get upset about, its when they dirty pitchers get took away!

    “What does it say about one’s community that there is literally nothing left to talk about without porn?”

    Same thing it says about a whole group of men who can’t perform sexually without it. It’s ceased to be a mere masturbatory aid and has become an integral part of the 21st century sexual landscape.

  22. Brendan says:

    This will, in fact, probably “kill” tumblr, which isn’t a bad thing. The main point of the site always seemed to me to be porn sharing. I’m not sure “microblogging” really is much of a thing outside of that, and it surely doesn’t seem to be of much general utility, even when compared with other forms of social media. Good riddance, I suppose.

    However, this is literally a micro-drop in a deep ocean of porn on the internet. Deep-sixing tumblr, while satisfying, won’t have much of an impact on the overall situation with porn. In order to address that, the leading porn aggregation websites need to be shut down, and that will be hard to do because most of them are offshore. The alternative is to block them like China does — we should probably be looking into that as a country really.

  23. Andrew in MD says:

    I have to give some applause to Matt in VA here. Let me repeat the key sentence from Rod:

    What we need is a practical intersectionality of the morally sane.

    Intersectionality? (My browser’s spell check doesn’t even recognize the word.) Rod, I’m a fan of yours and a regular reader, but you have a bad habit of playing by the enemy’s rules.

    How do you justify inter-religious “intersectionality” on BenOp grounds? Christians need to rededicate ourselves to our beliefs and form alliances with those who hold our beliefs in contempt? It’s too much to ask and Christians that attempt to strike this balance will ultimately find themselves being taken advantage of by their supposed allies. Jews and Muslims are not “much greater friends and allies to us than porn-addled sexual revolutionaries,” even if some of them happen to agree with us on this issue. They all openly wish that we would just come around to their way of thinking and won’t hesitate to improve their side’s position at the expense of ours in this culture war.

    Let us focus on Christ and spreading the good news. Let us not go searching for allies among those who deny our savior. We have no use for “practical intersectionality.”

  24. Marie in Vermont says:

    Many thanks to Matt in VA. You expressed so well my feelings about multiculturalism far better than I could.

  25. Secular Transhumanist says:

    “Tumblr has been a home for something else – content tailored at vibrant LGBT communities, or for those with tastes you might not necessarily share with all your friends.”

    They think that the Internet will soon be lacking for places to find gay or fetish porn? Are they KIDDING?

  26. madge says:

    “Never heard of Royer, but how common is the sort of person you are implying: a Muslim who is politically active or at least conscious, conservative but not a fundie or jihadist sympathizer, and willing to ally with (mostly white, mostly evangelical, mostly pro-Zionist) conservative Christians on (some) culture war matters despite differences on other issues (immigration, Israel, counterterrorism, Christian symbols in public places)?”

    Shahid Shafi is one, which is not stopping real life versions of Noah and and Matt in VA from purging him from the GOP.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2018/12/05/group-republicans-want-oust-muslim-doctor-his-gop-leadership-role-because-he-is-muslim/?utm_term=.bf5c57c21810

  27. MikeCLT says:

    “Seriously, how did we become the kind of culture where celebrating kinky porn is a respectable point of view?”

    People vote for Democrats.

  28. Raskolnik says:

    Oh good grief, really? I say one nice thing about Muslims who are much greater friends and allies to us than porn-addled sexual revolutionaries who write demented garbage in our mainstream media, and now suddenly I’m Tony Blair circa 1999? — RD

    Well to be fair it’s not the first time you’ve made comments like this, and while I understand your reasoning, on the substance I have to agree with Matt and Noah: there’s simply no evidence that Muslims like Mr. Royer (religious enough to care about porn, but secular enough to work with Christians/accept the Constitution over Sharia/not be a jihadi) exist in the kind of numbers that make outreach worthwhile. “Liberal Islam” has always been a fantasy, something that maybe exists a little bit at the very top of the socioeconomic pyramid but basically nowhere else.

    As for the main topic here, as Matt in VA points out, the real underlying issue that’s not getting talked about is child pornography. Tumblr would still be allowing NSFW content if it had only been “normal” (so to speak) and legal pornography. But the P wing of the LGBTP movement was primarily organized on Tumblr, and while I have no doubt whatsoever that many inside the organization are ideologically sympathetic–remember, people, the next big “civil rights” issue is pedophilia, prepare yourselves NOW–at the same time the laws have not yet “caught up” to the new “scientific consensus” that children are capable of consenting to sexual relations with adults (it already being established, of course, that prepubescent children are capable of consent to their own permanent sterilization), and so for now it is “technically illegal” for them to host images of children being raped.

  29. Geoffrey says:

    Sounds like we all need to get on Tumblr now to convince them this was a smart business move and flood the site with wholesome and informative content.

    If we don’t reward moral heroism in business, we own the filth. We have the power to effect positive change here. This is a rare opportunity, and if we want other online platforms to follow suit, we’d better signal our intentions with our wallets and content.

  30. C. L. H. Daniels says:

    Fear not, porn hounds: You’ve still got Reddit.

  31. MikeCLT says:

    Matt In VA “But the idea that the problem of internet porn will be fixed because we form a multicultural team is just so… typical[ly] liberal. It really is.”

    That’s our Rod!

    [NFR: I don’t think it will be “fixed,” but any people — especially parents — who will stand up to it, and join in the cause of figuring out how to protect our kids from it, is an ally of mine. I think in this case you are so fixated on your ideology that you don’t see practical reality. — RD]

  32. Hosanna says:

    Several of the comments here reveal how little place the current right-wing have for traditional social conservative concerns. The celebration of pornography and other encouragements of sexual depravity is not something they are particularly concerned about (just look at the excuses they make for Trump, after all). The possibility of forming common cause and common community with people from a different ethnic background? That is something they are extremely concerned about. This is why I no longer label myself as “conservative” – when I was growing up in a conservative Christian household, I never got the impression that being conservative was about prioritizing the creation and maintenance of an ethnically homogeneous community, but for so much of those who call themselves conservatives today that seems to be their first if not only priority. It doesn’t seem to matter how morally sick the community is as long as no one in it looks too much different.

  33. MH - Guardian of 10^-21 Percent of the Galaxy says:

    Tumblr has been a weird mix of groups (e.g. fandoms, feminists, and adult content) for years. This wouldn’t be a dig deal, except for two big reasons:

    * Tumblr is popular with the youth demographic that corporations want to reach, but they want nothing to do with the unsavory content.

    * Reblogging encourages cross talk between groups, so hiding the unsavory content under the rug is hard.

    Tumblr being a for profit wants to modify their platform to make money, which means appealing to corporations.

  34. DW says:

    “I say one nice thing about Muslims who are much greater friends and allies to us than…”

    I don’t want “friends” who, when this fight is done being celebrated, will move on to attempted bans of alcohol, or dogs on the street, or start harrassing regular women for being “immodest” because their skirt doesn’t go to their ankles.

    No, I’ve got no room in my American life for friends like those.

  35. Patrick says:

    As a conservative Catholic, I would much rather live with gay couples than serious Muslims, sorry. Gay couples aren’t going to kill me, they just are disgusted with my religious views, so what.

    But I’m glad about this: that dude talking about “p***y pics” – that’s defninitely not something a real woman says.

  36. Jonathan Davis says:

    The problem the LGBT community faces is illuminated in these types of articles. It is similar to the problem our “straight” culture suffocates under as well.

    Myself and other married men I associate with are part of a community of sorts, that is we are in a very similar life circumstance, in a way ultimately related to our sexuality. Yet sex and other carnal topics makes up almost none of our conversation. Even though it is a foundational aspect to our shared life station, it is not the thing itself.

    Apparently without the conversation of sex and porn, LGBT community has nothing? This would be like all straight people needing to bond over straight sex and the hookup culture becoming the paramount aspect of our culture and media. Oh wait…

    The point I’m making is I really can’t say that this is an LGBT thing so much as a Western depravity thing

  37. One Male says:

    More to the point. Maybe some of the critics coming from Islam’s ‘deplorables’ have been correct. Not that I’m endorsing the conclusion “hopefully we all know what that is”. Simply that yes, as a christian point taken. One thing leadith to another; potentially, G-d is on the side of the just and hence we see those willing to stand by there faith replacing those who are not. I’m reminded of the slaughter of the priests of baal for some reason… who knows really?

  38. Kay says:

    A documentary was recently shown where I live — its name escapes me, unfortunately — about human censors on Facebook whose job was to censor “inappropriate content.” (Algorithms alone can’t do the job, there does need to be human involvement.) I assume the experience with Tumblr would be similar. Day in, day out, viewing countless images of things like child pornography, filmed suicides, torture porn, etc. It really messes a lot of them up. Some of them commit suicide.

    That’s how dark this stuff is — that it drives ordinary people forced to watch it to suicidal despair. Yup, definitely a culture that I want to get behind. /sarc

  39. K squared says:

    Is it just me, or in the BBC article is the phrase “vibrant LGBT communities” a rather unfortunate wording?

  40. Nachum says:

    A news article about how the British government is subsidizing anonymous “chest binding” led to an internet search. Want to lose faith in the future? Look it up on YouTube. A seemingly endless series of mid-teen girls teaching how to bind one’s chest. The comments are the worst part- huge chains of self-reinforcing girls, twelve to fourteen by how they write, all meticulously politically correct and policing each other (“Don’t call them ‘she’!” “I’m not trans but…” “Yes you are.” “Sorry.”) talking about how they hate their bodies and want to alter them without their parents knowing. We are doomed.

    My kids are much younger, and I’m already wondering how to inoculate them from this insanity.

  41. evw says:

    Good to know “a fondness for filth” now equals “the ethical stuff.”

    Of course, I’m probably just a prude and keep forgetting that he’s just taking Kennedy’s “at the heart of liberty” quote to heart.

  42. Mccormick47 says:

    What I’m reading on other sources indicates that the artificial intelligence system Tumblr is using to detect porn is a total failure, and has tagged the eyeballs of comic book characters as women’s nipples.

    Tumblr was basically a project without a business plan, then it was purchased by Verizon, who of course, want it to turn a profit. But it has a large user base of activists who will no doubt abandon it.

  43. Rich says:

    The US has federal anti-porn laws that could be used against websites with this stuff. Go after the server providers, etc. Sure it would still be available but much less easy to get to.

  44. Cavin says:

    I find myself agreeing with Matt and Noah—perhaps for the first time—on this. As was noted in another thread, conservatism fails when it becomes an ideology. Thus, I’m left wondering what culture we’re protecting from “pornification” if doing so involves an alliance with adherents of a religion that requires them to seek the murder of non-adherents. If such an alliance is necessary for the defense of “the culture,” then it seems that this culture is not anything that’s particularly Western or Christian. It seems like little more than a kind of moralistic authoritarianism onto which Christian symbolism has been slapped.

    Never mind that this “solution” will actually make the problem worse. While Tumblr faced its struggles, it was a place that offered people a variety of soft-core porn that diverged from the canned product that’s marketed by the porn industry. In most cases, one could expect to go to Tumblr and not be exposed to illegal pornography or to the computer viruses that may infect a number of other sites. After all, Tumble had the resources to police that kind of stuff.

    Given that nearly 100% of the US population views porn, at least on a semi-regular basis, the demand isn’t going anywhere. Production will simply shift to less regulated platforms, where the likelihood of being exposed to hard-core porn is higher.

    Also, it is quite common for companies to recommend that people get their porn fix from Tumblr. These days, most employers permit people to get work emails on personal devices, like iPads and iPhones. Employers cannot regulate what other activities employees do on such devices. Companies generally assume—rightly or wrongly—that everyone views porn. That’s especially true for employees under 40. Tumblr was great because employees could view porn on their personal devices with a low risk that doing so would expose sensitive data to hackers and the like. I trust that employees are going to continue viewing porn. They’ll now do it from sites where they’re more likely to get viruses, and where hackers are more likely to be able to pull sensitive company information out of email accounts without anyone even detecting it.

    At some point, we need to stop pretending that viewing porn is not nearly universal. In fact, most white-collar workplaces these days permit employees to view porn at work, as long as it’s done on personal devices and not done in a manner that would make others feel uncomfortable. I do think there’s value in limiting exposure to hard-core or violent porn, and eliminating exposure to child porn. But seeking to eliminate exposure to all forms of porn only pushes people who are seeking soft-core porn onto sites where they will be exposed to hard-core porn or child porn. Pressuring Tumblr to eliminate all porn will turn out to be a very bad thing. After all, it’s simply unrealistic to think that anyone is going to stop viewing porn simply because it’s not available on Tumblr.

  45. Matt in VA says:

    [NFR: Oh good grief, really? I say one nice thing about Muslims who are much greater friends and allies to us than porn-addled sexual revolutionaries who write demented garbage in our mainstream media, and now suddenly I’m Tony Blair circa 1999? — RD]

    I wonder if you’ll let me continue to be a real pain in the a**…. there’s a LOT here, I think…

    To me, this is by far the most interesting aspect of the entire post, even though you call it an aside. Western culture has a serious problem with images of the human body (porn). And to fix these serious issues with images of the human body, we are told — even though there seems no real reason whatsoever to take the blog post in this particular direction — that we need to ally with, of all people, *Muslims.* There is, as the kids say, “a lot to unpack here.”

    It honestly reminds me of the scientists and ecologists who bring in a non-native species to deal with a pest problem or some other problem…and then rather quickly find that they have a new and very different problem on their hands. You’re from the South — look at kudzu, introduced initially to combat erosion(!) I don’t disagree at all that we have a serious problem with images of the human body in our society (it’s not exclusively a Western problem, though) — but the idea that the people who would eagerly take a hammer to Michelangelo’s David (and that attitude towards depictions of the human form is hard-coded into that religion’s DNA) are the ones we need on our side to deal with this problem is… well, let’s just say I hesitate to agree.

    I mean, it may be true that Hoellebecq is right, but if a, ahem, Muslim attitude is what is needed to fix our sexual-culture problem, then it’s not going to look like a Washington think-tank white paper kind of solution. It’s going to look like, well, a Hoellebecq “solution.” Not that Washington think tanks have ever done anything, ever, other than loot the public purse.

    Since I’m thinking about the French a lot these days… I am tempted to say that there is a part of the French soul that knows, deep down, that multiculturalism is, among many, many other things, an aesthetic disaster, and that a proffered “solution” to a problem that makes things worse aesthetically is no solution at all. Yes, the French are more to blame than anyone else for the postmodernism hellhole we’re in today… but they are also quite possibly the ones who will lead us out of it, if anybody will, because there is a twin strand of the French soul that knows that a Diverse and Multicultural Think-Tank/Academic Approach, a Robbie George Natural Law “Believing Christians, Jews, and Muslims United” approach is absolutely worthless (it’s like Movement Conservatism itself in that the ONLY people it accomplishes ANYTHING for are the grifters, the people with the think-tank-type jobs in Washington, the people with sinecures to fund their Endless Natural Law Arguments habit) and that sometimes you have to get out and fight in the streets. If you are not willing to put your BODY on the line — note the importance of the human body here! Note the critical role of the flesh itself! — than you have nothing, and deep down people know, and feel that. At least the French do…

    Anyway, here’s to the gillets jaunes, if I may… Godspeed. Is it too much to hope for to see one of the investment banker types pulled down in real time? Probably…

    [NFR: Of course I will allow you to still be a pain in the ass here. You’re a pain in the ass, but you’re MY pain in the ass. I wouldn’t say the same thing about Europe, whose problem with unassimilated and unassimilable Muslim immigrants I have written about many times here. The US is different for a lot of reasons. I don’t believe that we should have high levels of immigration — well, period, but especially not from Muslim countries, based on what we’re seeing in Europe. That does not mean that we should treat Muslims who are here as non-persons. Leaving aside the hardcore — of which there are some; I clashed with them repeatedly when I was a columnist in Dallas, and they tried to get me fired for publicizing their extremism — there are good men and women who are Muslim, and who I would be grateful to have for friends and neighbors. The late Orthodox Christian bioethicist Herman Engelhardt, as stoutly conservative a Christian as you can imagine, used to tell a story about going to an international bioethics conference, and listening to a bunch of jaw-dropping speeches intended to justify all manner of terrible thing under the banner of “progress.” At some point, a Turkish Muslim medical scientist approached him and said, “I think you and I are the only people in this entire hall who believe in God.” There’s a lesson in that. I also recall sitting in a professor’s office in Leiden, in the Netherlands, not long after Pim Fortuyn was murdered. I was interviewing him about the situation in the Netherlands. This professor, a secular man of the right, was deeply worried about radical Islam in his country. But to my surprise, he thought Fortuyn was no kind of solution. Fortuyn, who was gay, made his name internationally by courageously — and at times, outrageously — standing up to Islamist bullies. Before that, though, he was known mostly for his baroquely promiscuous sexual lifestyle, about which he bragged. The professor said to me that Fortuyn was a symbol of the decadence of Dutch society; so too was the presence in the Netherlands of the barbaric forces to which he stood up. It really made me think. Around the same time, I was chastised by a religious Jewish friend who worked in deep undercover infiltrating radical Islamic communities for counterintelligence purposes not to assume that all Muslims are the same. My friend said that some of the agency’s best sources were Muslims within those communities who are terrified of the radicals, because they know that if they speak out publicly against them, they will be hurt or killed. My friend — remember, a religious Jew — told me that one’s prejudices against Muslims do not survive contact with brave and good ones who were willing to help rat out the radicals, though they had to do it quietly.

    Now, even if you are a Christian who just flat-out hates Muslims as Muslims, you ought to at least have the common sense to realize that in the religious liberty battles to come in a liberal-dominated legal system, religious minorities, including Muslims, will be key to protecting your own liberties. Why do you think Becket prefers to take cases to trial involving religious minorities as plaintiffs? Because they know that liberal judges will have a softer spot for them, and therefore will be more likely to vote in a way that preserves religious liberty for all than if the plaintiffs had been conservative Christians. I know this particular facet doesn’t matter to you, as you are not a religious man, Matt, but Christians who are thinking about their future in de-Christianized America can’t afford to ignore this practical reality. — RD]

  46. Augustine says:

    Of course, Tumblr became a haven of transgender pedophilia porn as we boldly go where mankind has never gone before. It’s quite curious how the loss of this new development has not been publicly lamented yet.

    So, yeah, I embrace my Hindu, Muslim and Sikh friends with whom I share more values than in even the typical American church goer.

  47. pbnelson says:

    Cavin says: December 5, 2018 at 11:02 am… most white-collar workplaces these days permit employees to view porn at work

    Someday soon you are in for a very rude awakening, my friend. Never view porn at work!

    And while I’m dishing out advice, don’t discuss politics and religion at work, either.

    Oh, wait! have I just been trolled?

  48. Elijah says:

    I heard from a gay friend who has a Tumblr that he’s not the least bit surprised by the move, but he blames the boneheads in charge. He says that lots of users – including lots of LGBTQ users – have been complaining for years about (a) porn spam bots and (b) pedophiles in plain sight and that Tumblr did…nothing.

    Most everything I’ve seen on Tumblr (not much, admittedly) is of the type that reminds one why it is best to stay off of the internet.

    “Apparently without the conversation of sex and porn, LGBT community has nothing?”

    @ Jonathan Davis – for a certain subset of LGBTQ people, I think that is true. They define their very lives by their sexual peccadilloes.

  49. Matt in VA says:

    Rombald says:
    December 5, 2018 at 3:09 am
    Matt in VA:
    I know the Calormenes are often thought to be Muslims, but they don’t seem close to me.

    OK, they wear turbans and live in a desert, and there might be some 18th/19th-century anti-Ottoman perceptions mixed in, with the cruelty, decadent sultans, child marriage, etc., but they seem to me to owe much more to OT views of Babylon.

    It’s far from a one-to-one correspondence, but they are DEFINITELY Muslims.

    I mean, Aslan/Narnia is far from a one-to-one correspondence with Christianity/Jesus/etc., too. Think of how much pagan stuff C.S. Lewis mixes in. But that doesn’t mean that he isn’t talking about Christianity.

    If you want to say that Lewis gets some things wrong about Islam, fine… but the Calormenes are rather obviously Muslims.

  50. Elijah says:

    “But seeking to eliminate exposure to all forms of porn only pushes people who are seeking soft-core porn onto sites where they will be exposed to hard-core porn or child porn. Pressuring Tumblr to eliminate all porn will turn out to be a very bad thing.”

    There are two problems here: (1) Apple declining to offer Tumblr in the App Store is not the same thing as a pressure campaign to get Tumblr to change. If Tumblr had managed their porn bots and child porn problem on their own, they’d probably not have been dropped. If Amazon began offering child porn on Prime Video, I have no doubt the App Store would cut it off, too.

    (2) The idea that eliminating soft core porn will somehow drive consumers to hard core porn is just not true. There is overwhelming evidence that consistent viewers of “soft core” porn will eventually move on to “hard core” porn. In fact, the distinction is becoming more blurred every day.

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