14 August 2019

Tumblrgeddon rolls on

It's now eight months since the Tumblr blogging platform, at the instigation of its owner Verizon, banned most sexually-oriented content.  This triggered a tsunami of anger and ridicule from Tumblr's vast user community, many of whom began migrating to other platforms.  The motive for the ban was pretty explicitly that Verizon wanted to milk Tumblr for more cash by selling more ads there -- advertisers generally don't like buying space on platforms with NSFW material (though the numerous neo-Nazi blogs which also use Tumblr weren't banned or restricted).  Since the ban, Tumblr's traffic has fallen by one-third.  Several Tumblr blogs I used to read have vanished or stopped posting, even though most of them posted little or no NSFW material.

This week Verizon announced that it had sold Tumblr to Automattic (yes, that's how they spell it), the parent company that also owns WordPress.  It's been reported that the price was as low as $3 million -- astonishing if true, since Verizon originally paid $1.1 billion, but it seems clear that Verizon took a huge loss on the deal.  So the Tumblr community can celebrate the fact that, to at least that extent, they have been avenged upon their oppressors.  Automattic plans to keep the sexually-oriented content ban in place and "explore ways to integrate Tumblr and WordPress", a bizarre concept to anyone familiar with both platforms.

In other words, the sale will change nothing, or maybe even make the situation worse.  It's just another set of corporate grey men in grey suits ruling over a community utterly beyond their understanding, and screwing it up in random ways in pursuit of the obscene quantities of money which, to them, are what it's all really about.  MSM reporting will remain clueless, quoting CEO and business-analyst viewpoints while treating the Tumblr blogging community as an amusing menagerie of exotic beasts to be chivvied along in directions chosen by their corporate betters.

As I expressed at the time, in the long run user-owned-and-operated platforms like AO3 or Dreamwidth are the real solution to this problem, even if they cost a few dollars to use.  The platform I use, Blogger, is owned by Google but has so far escaped the plague of corporate meddling in content (users fended off an attempt in 2015) -- so I stay.  But if it does happen here someday, I'll be looking for a new platform myself, even though it's vanishingly rare that I post anything remotely NSFW here.  It's the principle of the thing.


Blogger Debra She Who Seeks said...

I'm so happy that Verizon took a big financial bath, the bastards.

14 August, 2019 14:59  
Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

When they started sending me notices of ‘violations’ on tumblr, I knew they were gonna blast my blog there. And they did. I was in tumblr when the term ‘tumblr fanous’ Was coined. So almost from creation. But I had an absolutely smutty tumblr and mine was one of the first to go. I told the last idiot who emailed me that they were gonna go the way of MySpace.
Vengeance. Cold is better.


14 August, 2019 20:18  
Blogger RO said...

I've been able to get away with pictures of melted ice penises on Blogger, so I figure I'm safe for the moment.(lol) Hope your day is fabulous! Hugs, RO

15 August, 2019 01:45  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Debra: So am I.

Sixpence: That's too bad. I imagine your Tumblr was a sight worth seeing.

RO: Blogger does seem to be one of the freer platforms, at least for now. Hope it stays that way.

16 August, 2019 02:44  

Post a Comment

<< Home