The Death of Tumblr


They’ve been training their AI filters for a while now. I only noticed that several old posts were flagged as ‘Sensitive’ on my SFW tumblr when they were reposted a couple of months ago. And they weren’t naked teens or anything like that, but bits of architecture, strange machines, aircraft and so on. Of course, not knowing about it (since oh-so-transparent-tumblr didn’t email me about them) meant that I couldn’t correct them when it happened. Is that a sensible way to train an AI?

Here’s a few examples of the latest iteration of the filters in action (not my posts):

Middle image shows the roughly 4% drop in share price in Verizon when they announced the ban yesterday. Shoulda saved it for a Friday night, guys.


So, is it now canon that this had anything to do with / is all the fault of Apple?

I mean, Apple does have a sex problem. But Tumblr is back in their App Store, and currently still full of porn (and was never an iOS-only thing anyway). If Verizon have successfully got people blaming Apple for their dick move simply by timing the announcement right after an essentially unrelated tiff with Apple, that’s a spectacular PR coup on Verizon’s part.

  1. Big (in terms of contribution, not consumption)
  2. Open/permissive
  3. NOT an overflowing dumpster of human misery

It seems that we are seeing more and more evidence that the Internet did nothing to change the fact that in any sufficiently large group of humans, you can only ever hope to get any two of the three.

Because enough people are sufficiently cretinous enough of the time. Which is sad.


Not consumption? Half the Tumblrs I followed over the years now say “There is nothing there.” They are gone. Maybe I am not understanding your context?


Just the first pic and your profile pic together nails it. No further information needed. :grin:


“This also had major implications for consensual sex work because a platform like Craigslist is liable for escort ads published on their site. I could write a much longer article about that, but for the moment we are talking about Tumblr.”

I have doubt about the level of sex trafficking that involves either kids or the unwilling, most of what people call sex trafficking was actually just consensual sex workers that had no other way to make a living because of our prohibitions on the legal sex trade. Passing a law or two in the congress is not going to end sex outside of the missionary position in marriage. It will just make it that much harder to control the real criminal aspects of paid for sex.

And the social damage done by these laws, CraigsList personals was one of the very few outlets for the LGBT community in MOST regions of the nation outside of a few very large cities. If you did not fit the demographic of bar going singles who can walk into any drinking establishment and go home with a trick you pretty much had the one option of CL. I lived in a county of a quarter million people which was hundreds of miles from the nearest major metropolitan area with a gay bar, or establishment of any kind, there were no other avenues for meeting other gay people. Maybe some of the phone apps, but those are effectively off limits to anyone over 30.

As usual the do-gooders of society meaning to stop a well marketed “problem” instead dropped a house on all of us and refuse to admit they went far too far.

But, I agree the net is as good as dead. Between the russian trolls, the Alt Rgt who aid and abet them, the commercialization that has made so many websites unusable, the paid subscription only news outlets, even once proud and free standard bearers of a neutral net like Google are now worthless, I notice the first 100k of 1 million “hits” on search terms are all commercial in nature. You have to often go to page 80 or so of your search results to find actual relevant content that does not include buying something.


A little off topic, but that photo of Bill Murray is gold.


I had a MySpace account, I had posted family photos to it as well as a pictorial collection point for my life thinking they would be safe there for all my life. Then the house I was living in and my computer burned up, when I got back to being able to get online I found MySpace was gone, and though it was eventually reinvented in it’s current form all the photos in my account were no longer available. I have learned not to trust the net any farther than I can throw a warehouse full of server blades.


Terrible? Worse, it will make the real (small but real) trafficking problem that much harder to deal with as it drives commercial illicit sex further underground.


JUGS! Nuff said. All jugs must be scrubbed from the net lest people get horny and hire an 11 year old gay hooker/slave.


Not quibbling with your point, which is unimpeachably true, but can you give me an example of 1+3?

And from the post, “instead of fixing their platform, [tumblr is] just putting the final nail in their coffin.” What exactly does the author want them to do? They are not profitable, and the law just changed to make them responsible for any unpoliced kiddie pron or prostitution content on their site. The kind of targeted filtration that would make artistic/aesthetic judgments about the permitted and the forbidden that the author (and some commenters here) seem to assume tumblr could have chosen is simply beyond tumblr’s resources. Crude image recognition bulk tagging is their only real choice to avoid getting fined out of existence or possibly prosecuted, and of course it’s going to overtag and spin off ludicrous mistakes. Not sure there was a way for them to “fix their platform” without spending massive sums of money they don’t have.

This, by the way, is what renders Facebook so culpable for the lies, racism, and bullshit on their platform. They could do something about it, but they just don’t want to.


I don’t know. I feel like Tumblr might be “dead” for photographers and porn but alive and well for memes and social justice warriors. For some censoring nudity might be seen as a benefit. My wife loves Tumblr but she is supremely annoyed when porn ends up in her feed because that’s not what she’s there for.


That settles it, I’m going back to Myspace.


Yes, but Tumblr is being characteristically incompetent about this, flagging as explicit content stuff that’s not only not explicit, but doesn’t even portray humans. Nobody’s blog is safe right now, since their anti-porn bot has a massive rate of false positives.


I’ve had friends who post exclusively nature/outdoor photos get their pictures of churches, rocks, and seaside landscapes flagged as “explicit”. Their bots are so poor that anything pink, circular, or vaguely horizontally-shaped is being interpreted as porn. And of course any photographs or drawings of people, animals, or cartoon animals.

But if, like most Tumblr users, your main output is Minions / Shrek memes, you’re quite safe!


More of a problem with sex, as I understand it, though I haven’t personally use their app store in years.

I didn’t know they’d been reinstated prior to this. I’m going on what the stories and people have been saying here and all I’d seen before was that they were removed for sexy times. You’re the first to mention they’d been reinstated. I don’t think BB or the community work for Verizon, so not really a PR coup. Still, I’ve edited my original comment on your word.



Sorry you lost your data. That sucks. Good advice though.


I appreciate this perspective. Before I had really really surfed Tumblr I was roped into creating a free site for an unfunded but established organization/community board. I really liked the design elements available in Tumblr and the initial set up wasn’t too challenging. As I’m writing this, I am getting off of Tumblr for other reasons and bit the bullet to pay for host and domain.

Totally unrelated to its status (and what I agree were advantages) as an ideal host for erotic, artistic and compelling imagery, these were the challenges for me which I think will be less so under Wordpress (or Joomla sites of which I’ve actually set up several):

  1. To maintain static/sectioned content as opposed to a scrolling blog, it’s a whole lot of clicks to get to those page edit screens. My bad - Tumblr is awesome for what it was designed to be.

  2. No PDF hosting. That’d be great for my own purpose but I’m sure it would be a headache to administer for Tumblr. In fact, there was another free option at the time which obviously did not have a sustainable model as they have since collapsed. Bummer for us. We switched to google drive but long term I’d rather we host it ourselves.

  3. I freely admit the two above are nitpicking. But here’s the big one: you can NEVER REMOVE AN ADMIN. So, people who were on this committee/board and have subsequently been replaced can still go in and have editorial control. The only way to stop or prevent sabotage from a disgruntled former admin is to shut the whole thing down.

Now I’m off to see if I can port the site to Wordpress.


Maybe the plan is analogous to this one: