Imgur is banning explicit images on its platform this month

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Image hosting platform Imgur will ban explicit images on its platform from May 15. The company updated its terms of service and said the company will focus on removing “nudity, pornography and sexually explicit content” from the site later this month.

The Medialab-owned company said explicit content posed a risk to Imgur’s “community and its operations” and that banning such things “will protect the future of the Imgur community.”

The image-hosting platform said it still allows artistic nudity, but as it switches to a mix of automatic and human moderation, there may be issues uploading some content.

“Artistic nudity will continue to be allowed as previously allowed under the rules, but as we are calibrating automated detection in these early stages, some content previously allowed under “artistic exceptions” may not apply here. We will not be issuing warnings, account suspensions or bans related to these automated flags, but this may affect what is allowed to be submitted or uploaded,” Imgur said in its blog post.

As Christian Selig, the developer behind Reddit client Apollo, pointed out, this change could affect several NSFW subreddits that rely on Imgur for explicit image hosting. Many Reddit users are familiar with Imgur because Reddit did not initially support image uploading. Users would rely on Imgur to upload images and then share them on Reddit.

In 2018, Imgur stopped serving images and searches related to NSFW Reddit communities on Imgur’s website. The company said at the time that explicit images were still allowed, but had to be marked “hidden”.

The same year, Tumblr banned porn from its platform to comply with Apple’s App Store rules. Last year, the company introduced a “Community Labels” feature that allows users to easily filter sensitive content.

In addition to explicit images, Imgur also deletes old and unused photos that are not associated with an account. As one Twitter user pointed out, Imgur has been used for years to upload photos without an account and post links to various types of sites. Removing those images can result in a lot of dead links on the web.

We’ve asked the company to specify what the definition of an “old and unused” photo is and will update the story if we hear back.

Notably, in 2017, another hosting service called Photobucket changed its terms and required users to get a $40 per month plan to allow for third-party hosting. This resulted in several broken links on many sites.

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