Tumblr is now owned by a phone company, so it's stopped fighting for Network Neutrality

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/06/22/corporations-arent-people.html

Yahoo’s sale to Verizon means that Yahoo’s sub-companies – Flickr, Tumblr and a host of others – are now divisions of a phone company, and as you might expect, being on the payroll of a notorious neutracidal maniac with a long history of sleazy, invasive, privacy-destroying, monopolistic, deceptive, anti-competitive, scumbag shakedowns has changed the public positions these companies are allowed to take.

This matters a lot. The previous fights for net neutrality were won in part with the support of scrappy online companies like Tumblr, whose CEO, staff and users worked together to send a strong message to Congress and the FCC about the importance of a neutral internet, free from ISPs who slow down your connections to services unless they pay bribes for "premium" carriage.

With Trump's FCC set to slay Net Neutality, the internet is once again planning a day of coordinated action: on July 12, sites across the net will send their users to the FCC and Congress to demand that ISPs be held to a public service standard befitting the trillions of dollars in public subsidies they receive every year in the form of access to rights of way through our cities and between them.

However, Tumblr is not among the companies presently slated to participate, and sources within the company told The Verge that the company and its CEO, David Karp (once a staunch Net Neutrality campaigner) have been given orders to sit this one out.

Now, multiple sources tell The Verge that employees are concerned that Karp has been discouraged from speaking publicly on the issue, and one engineer conveyed that Karp told a group of engineers and engineering directors as much in a weekly meeting that took place shortly after SXSW. “Karp has talked about the net neutrality stuff internally, but won’t commit to supporting it externally anymore,” the engineer said. “[He] assures [us] that he is gonna keep trying to fight for the ability to fight for it publicly.” Karp did not respond to four emails asking for comment, and neither Yahoo nor Tumblr would speak about the matter on the record...

...The Verge spoke to two former employees and one current employee about net neutrality advocacy at the company. One former employee said that the “whole org” is still aggressive on net neutrality and other progressive causes — but that aggression “stops at leadership.”

In addition, at the all-hands meeting at Tumblr last month, all three sources say Khalaf gave a speech that shocked much of the staff. One source described the talk as “a whole bunch of terrible, shitty corporate speak,” in which Khalaf used military metaphors to explain how Tumblr could use content as “a weapon” to beat out its competition.



Don’t really use Tumblr, but i guess this will be similar to how people fled Livejournal. It’s time for people to find an adequate replacement

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I don’t know much about the Livejournal scene, but network effect may be a much more significant for for Tumblr, it is a space with a culture that the users love, and the interconnectedness of users tumblrs would be a lot to walk away from…

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I can’t imagine those very same users would be ok with Verizon’s shenanigans. If i did use the site i would be planning on migrating elsewhere by now. It’s also an opportunity for someone to capitalize on the change in ownership of the site and offer a space people can go to.

Verizon is a shit-stain on humanity.



Nice one Cory!

welp… there went my tumblr account.

It was the same with Livejournal ten years ago. Everyone has moved on since then, with the anti-LGBT rules earlier this year finally getting rid of the most of the rest of the original people remaining.

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And so it begins…

They rolled out a “Sensitive Content” filter this week which blocks people who aren’t logged in from seeing posts, and it must have been developed by the same idiots who designed Youtube’s because it immediately started flagging non-explicit LGBT content.


I don’t even really know what I’m supposed to do at this point. The biggest following for my work is on tumblr, twitter is doing it’s bullshit as previously reported on, facebook baffles me, Mastodon is cute but the users there are openly hostile to the idea of telling outsiders about it and to the idea of growing an audience or watching follow and like counts - which is fine and all when you are talking about escaping from determining your self worth by how many likes your selfie got, not so much when you are an artist trying to find the people who like what you make and might support it and keeping them engaged and aware of where they can find you to keep supporting you. Niche websites are an option but I know too much about the behind the scenes drama of some of them to be terribly comfortable with that either.

I feel kind of stuck. Doesn’t help that I have at least half a dozen other reasons to feel demoralized in this day and age. I guess I’ll just keep tossing art into the void and screaming.


This is sad news. I love Tumblr, though I don’t post to it. I guess if it doesn’t stop them campaigning on other issues it’s not too bad but it sucks all the same.

I have a friend who was never really able to make a lot of use out of Tumblr as far as finding an audience for her work. But with the site changing hands i wonder what will be the next stand in for it. Deviantart is a flaming garbage pile, Instagram isn’t the best with artists… i’m not aware of many other alternatives.

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