Read the full article by Gene Zorkin at YNOT.com

 

NEW YORK – When Tumblr announced last month that it was banning porn from the platform, Tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio was upfront about the fact the execution of the ban wasn’t expected to go entirely smoothly.

“Filtering this type of content versus say, a political protest with nudity or the statue of David, is not simple at scale,” D’Onofrio wrote at the time. “We’re relying on automated tools to identify adult content and humans to help train and keep our systems in check. We know there will be mistakes, but we’ve done our best to create and enforce a policy that acknowledges the breadth of expression we see in the community.”

I’m guessing one mistake D’Onofrio might not have anticipated was the possibility Tumblr’s porn filter would flag the company’s own examples of depictions of nudity that the site would still allow to be displayed.

Last week, the Tumblr staff posted some examples of “imagery that are still permitted within our policy.”

According to Gizmodo however, when they posted a copy of the same example gif, “it was immediately flagged as a potential violation and hidden by the platform’s filter.”

[O]ver-inclusiveness is a well-known problem with image recognition software.

For example, right around this time last year, reports circulated about the Metropolitan Police in London realizing the image recognition software the MP used was flagging depictions of sand dunes as naked human bodies.

It sounds as if D’Onofrio’s prediction that “there will be mistakes” was even more on-the-nose than he may have realized.

Gene Zorkin has been covering legal and political issues for various adult publications (and under a variety of different pen names) since 2002.