I’m a syndicator. I stopped wanting to silo original collections of words in other people’s systems a long time ago. I send things from here and Longwave and Status to social networks, but they don’t originate there, and twice a year I wipe them anyway. I have been using Tumblr since the outset, but long ago grabbed all my stuff out of there and set up a system to save anything new on my Tumblr to an offsite location. For some considerable time, I’ve only been using it to find material – when I reblog, it triggers an IFTTT recipe that copies the material to my personal logging site.
All of which is to say, I’ve been on the internet since the dawn of the graphical web, I don’t care about public community networking, and I have a complex fee-paying system of doing things.
The people still using Tumblr do not, and neither would the next generation that came to the web and found an easy networked way to start expressing themselves in the digital space.
The removal of “adult” content on Tumblr – the guidelines for which have been stated remarkably poorly — appears to be a fairly desperate attempt to get back in the puritanical good books of the Apple App Store without at all curing the issue that got them kicked off, which was distribution of child porn imagery. The guidelines cite “female-presenting nipples” as a deletion flag, which fairly obviously surrounds a lot more than child porn. And get that phrasing, just in case you thought they weren’t going to be screening trans and nb persons.
And I just noticed that a thing I reblogged to collect – a piece of old art entitled “The Satanic Trinity” — got flagged during the rollout of Tumblr’s new filters. So I guess we know what’s next for them.
It’s probably too early right now to wave goodbye to this weird site that started out as a way to monetise the tumblelog style started by other people, something that was maybe a tiiiiny bit skeevy but hey not everyone’s a coder. I remember looking at tumblelogs with envy, and, frankly, no Tumblr theme ever really looked as good as the original tumblelogs.
But, for those who still watch what the internet does, this is probably the flag for Tumblr’s last lap.