Great Tumblr Kerfuffle

Tumblr is an interesting thing. It’s a blogging platform firmly entrenched in social media elements that’s fairly user-friendly in design. I actually have always really liked most of the functionality of Tumblr (really wish I could totally nix the private message/chat, though — that was never there when I originally used Tumblr and I’d just as well wish it wasn’t.)

The site is home to many creatives, which is how it started out for me when I first created my own Tumblr. Then it became a home to fandoms, which is how I expanded further into Tumblr, originally with GW2 role play and story blogs. 

It’s retained this sense of being a place for creative freedom… but we all know how there tends to be a dark underbelly to any freedom when it comes to being on the Internet. It’s a sad reality, and Tumblr also became known for being a place of adult content. Once that sort of thing gets started, it’s really hard to keep in check.

And that’s kinda what got Tumblr in trouble as of late, and their iOS app removed from the Apple Store completely

Obvious to those who follow this blog, I’m not they type to post adult content of any sort. When I launched a Tumblr for my FFXIV RP alt, I took a lot of steps to block NSFW tags, blogs, phrases and images. I personally have no desire to see these things, and have done a pretty good job of avoiding this content since I returned to Tumblr back in June. 

Migrating Slowly

I got an itchy feeling last week about the whole situation, especially when someone brought up the demise of GeoCities and Live Journal, both platforms I used in my past. While I wouldn’t fall apart if my RP Tumblr vanished (and some people are losing their Tumblrs into thin air during this), I do have writing I want to save. 

Last month, I started moving some of my writing over to AO3, just as a backup option, and an attempt to expand the audience. 

But last week, I decided to take the plunge and set up a full transfer of content to my own self-hosted WordPress. So I picked up the domain and have been working on cleaning up the content (images don’t fully transfer off Tumblr in many instances). 

I also launched a Twitter account for my RP character… which didn’t see much in the way of activity until yesterday. What happened yesterday? Well… 

Tumblr’s Big Decision 

Yesterday, Tumblr announced that they will no longer allow adult content (mostly images) on their platform. Of course this unfolded a lot like what you’d expect. 

Folks who saw Tumblr as a free and safe space to post anything and everything to were suddenly informed there are new rules and consequences. While I don’t completely disagree with this turn of events, especially in terms of images that portray children in adult content, even I can see that Tumblr is flagging down a lot of innocent posts in its zeal to roll out this choice. 

I haven’t had content flagged of my own (that I’ve seen), but I’ve reblogged things that were flagged, and know blogs that disappeared completely. Trust me, there is no adult content in something I reblog, and what I saw flagged was really silly.

So these false flags are not helping the public opinion. 

Interestingly, it seems that some Tumblr folks are migrating over to Twitter now, if only just to give it a try. This is ironic, given that I’d just set up a Twitter last week. So, in the space of a day, I’ve seen my account go from 2 followers to 52 followers, and a bunch of interaction between folks that I knew from Tumblr. 

I don’t know how sticky Twitter will be for these people, but I am learning a lot about how Twitter works. While I’ve had a main Twitter account for many years, I admit that I never really dove into it much — lately topics tend to get a bit too political for my tastes. But the more I’ve fiddled with settings and explored options, the more I really do like it as a place for tiny snippets of RP interaction. 

What’s going to happen with Tumblr? Is this the death knell that people are making it out to be? Will it go the way of GeoCities and Live Journal? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Until then, I still have a Tumblr for some community interaction, but I’m really going to focus on expanding my creative options.