Announcement of Tumblr's sale to WordPress classified as pornography by Tumblr's notorious "adult content" filter

Tumblr is being sold to WordPress parent company Automattic for a reported price of "less than $3m," a substantial decline from the $1.1B Yahoo paid for the company in 2013 (Yahoo subsequently sold Tumblr and several other startups it had overpaid for and then ruined to Verizon for more than $4b).

Much of that decline in value is the result of Verizon's decision to introduce a fucking terrible automated "adult content" filter (that decision, in turn, was driven by the passage of SESTA, a US censorship law that pushed Apple to briefly remove the Tumblr app from the Ios App Store).

When I first read the announcement of the Automattic acquisition, I briefly held out hope that the new owners would reverse Verizon's mistake, but those hopes were dashed then Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg announced that the filter would stay.

It's hard to understand this decision. The filter is a piece of unadulterated, unsalvageable garbage. Its awfulness is hard to overstate, but it can be neatly illustrated by this Bruce Sterling post, which reveals that the Tumblr porn filter blocked Sterling's post of a screenshot of a news story about the acquisition, which includes the happy coda, "This decision cannot be appealed."