As of May 15, photo hosting site Imgur will remove “nudity, pornography, and sexually explicit content” as well as “old, unused, and inactive content that is not tied to a user account,” according to an Imgur Terms of Service update released this week. The company plans on utilizing both automated detection software and human moderators to detect explicit images.
Imgur’s Community Rules, which apply to public posts and everything associated with them — like tags, comments, and the like — have already banned nudity and explicit content. Imgur’s previous Terms of Service, however, applied to all content on Imgur, not just community interactions. Now, the company hopes this change will bring “closer parity” to the Community Rules.
“Explicit/Pornographic content was previously permitted to be on Imgur, but not when submitted as a comment or as a gallery submission. This caused frustration with users who received content violations for the content they have seen posted elsewhere off-site,” the TOS update reads. Imgur goes on to conflate explicit and illegal content, saying, “Explicit and illegal content have historically posed a risk to Imgur’s community and its business.” By removing this content, Imgur hopes to “protect the future of the Imgur community.”
In 2019, Imgur cited the same reason, risk, as to why it no longer allowed hosting for NSFW Reddit communities.
The TOS update also states that artistic nudity will be permitted (as it was permitted under Community Rules previously) — but some content formerly permitted under “artistic exceptions” may no longer apply as Imgur calibrates its automated detection.
“We will not be issuing any warnings, account suspensions, or bans in relation to these automated flags — but this may impact what is allowed to be submitted or uploaded,” Imgur states.
Last month, another photo storage site Shutterfly announced that it would remove old accounts and photos as well, if they had been in inactive for 18 months or more. The removal of explicit content harkened comparisons to Tumblr: In 2018, social media site Tumblr banned adult content, and traffic dropped 30 percent. Whether the same will occur with Imgur remains to be seen.