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Pornhub seems so close to buying Tumblr

Make Tumblr NSFW again

Tumblr’s crackdown on NSFW content last December was a big move that prompted criticism from a large portion of the social media platform’s own userbase. So much so, in fact, that visits to the site have fallen by over 150 million since the ban and, according to The Wall Street Journal, Verizon Communications Inc. – the company that owns the site – is looking to sell (the sense of poetic justice isn’t lost here).

But who would want to buy a social media platform that’s taken such a steep dive in users in the past few months? Well, Pornhub, apparently. And, if it does make the deal, a full-fledged restoration of NSFW content seems on the cards.

Back in December, when the Tumblr porn ban was announced, Pornhub tweeted welcoming disaffected users “with open arms”. However, the desire to take it one step further became clear this weekend as – in an email to Buzzfeed News – the company’s VP, Corey Price, said it was “extremely interested” in acquiring the blogging site.

Price also gave a bit of context for why he thinks the acquisition could go so well. “Tumblr was a safe haven for those who wanted to explore and express their sexuality, adult entertainment aficionados included,” he writes. “We’ve long been dismayed that such measures were taken to eradicate erotic communities on the platform.”

This aligns with what Tumblr users such as the freelance artist and adult comic-maker Kayla-Na told Dazed in February. “Tumblr has to remember that the adult community is still part of the website as a whole, and shouldn’t be suppressed into oblivion,” she said. “A NSFW warning before viewing an adult Tumblr page should more than suffice instead of just pretending that we don't exist.”

Of course, Pornhub has had its own problems in the past, mostly stemming from the use (or misuse) of copyrighted material that might harm the revenues of adult content creators. However, with an increasing emphasis on the creators behind their porn – see: Young M.A’s seven-woman lesbian film or Brooke Candy’s avant-garde offering – things do seem to be moving in the right direction at the company.

Whether we’re going to be seeing a deal that brings Tumblr back to life in the near future is yet to be revealed, but it’s definitely one to keep an eye on.