As Tumblr users leave comments on my Thou Shalt Not Search Adult Tumblr Blogs post, it’s becoming clearer that the new robots.txt that prohibits search engines from indexing adult Tumblrs is quite new. But nobody seems to know precisely why Tumblr is newly trying to hide all its adult blogs, and Tumblr still hasn’t responded to my inquiry.

Well, here’s a Time report that Tumblr is in talks to be acquired by Yahoo for big bucks. A potential acquisition like that would certainly explain the urge to scratch kitty litter hastily over the porn that made your system big enough to sell in the first place:

Internet icon Yahoo! is in talks to buy New York-based social blogging platform Tumblr for as much as $1 billion, according to multiple reports. At that price, Tumblr would be pretty expensive, given that it reportedly only booked $13 million in revenue last year, but the deal could still make sense for Yahoo! That’s because Tumblr is extremely popular with the 18-to-24 year-old-set, precisely the demographic CEO Marissa Mayer is targeting as she attempts to turn the purple-hued Internet pioneer around following a multi-year slump.

It’s like I said in The Pornocalypse Comes For Us All:

But Tumblr is, famously, a popular platform in search of a revenue-generating business model. And we’ve learned that the suits have no loyalty to the porn users who made their platform popular. So, my bold prediction is that as Tumblr casts about for a business model, one of their steps will be to “clean this place up” (for the VCs, for the advertisers, for the potential buyers, for somebody). A lot more porn tumblrs will go away when that happens.

The pornocalypse comes for us all.

Note well: Yahoo itself is no friend to adult content. As early as 2001 Yahoo started hiding adult Yahoo Groups from its own directories and site search, making them very hard to find. And adult Yahoo Groups used to be (it’s been some years since I stopped paying attention) frequently deleted, seemingly at random and without any notice or hope of appeal, forcing the group members to reconstitute themselves on other services or in new, temporary, Yahoo groups. If Yahoo buys Tumblr, the adult Tumblr ecosystem is in for a rough ride.


According to sources close to the situation, the Yahoo board plans to meet Sunday night to decide whether to approve a $1.1 billion all-cash offer for New York-based blogging site Tumblr.

Update, via Violet Blue’s sex news:

If Yahoo Buys Tumblr, What Will It Do With All That Porn? (Businessweek)

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