Unfortunately, we still see about the same total number of spambots and fake blogs in our notes. So at least from my own anecdotal experience, the ban did nothing except drive away human users.
A lot of our followers asked if/when we would move to another platform, but unfortunately for them (and us), Tumblr is the only major blog platform we know of which supports a curated, moderated submissions-based blog. Reddit is the closest runner-up in that it allows submissions and can be moderated, but isn't curatable for all intents and purposes. I suspect if (when) Tumblr goes under, it's going to take my blog with it, which is disappointing.
Their faulty AI censor bot also flagged 20+ of my non porn tech posts as porn, including a photo of Mars. Sent them all in for manual review months ago, no response yet.
Conversely I'm also still seeing some actual porn on Tumblr. Its apparently not difficult to fool the AI censor with carefully crafted images.
Seems they unleashed a totally untrained ai.
The key differentiator is the curation. Only those submissions which my mod team approves get posted to the blog, unlike Reddit where all submissions get posted first and then up/downvoted accordingly. I think (?) Reddit might have a way to curate, but it's not feasible at the scale of Reddit and a subreddit equivalent of the blog would quickly overwhelm the mod team and have to become uncurated. Considering the number of low-quality submissions we actively curate out, the result would be a significantly degraded experience. Which is not to say a transfer to Reddit is impossible, but it would definitely be An Effort, and one I'm not sure I'm willing to put in for what's been a fun hobby project for the last seven years.
Asks are another Tumblr feature that I haven't seen in other places. An ask is a question submitted to the blog mods, which the mods can reply to either publicly or privately, and which are visually differentiated on users' dashboards. On Reddit, a question to the mods would look exactly like any other post, and the mods' answer could easily be lost in the sea of general comments on the post.
There are also lesser features that Tumblr has that I've never seen on other platforms. Tagging is a big part of Tumblr culture and something I've had a lot of fun with on my blog. Reblogs and replies are very different forms of interaction than retweets/@'s. Fun coincidences like "dash did a thing" (where two unrelated posts show up together on a user's dashboard in a way that's amusing) don't appear to be a thing on other platforms for various reasons. The visual layout and formatting of Tumblr posts on the dashboard tends to be more readable than Reddit or Twitter.
These are all little things, but they're little things that have built up the personality of the blog over the years. I'd rather close the blog with its personality intact than watch it slowly die as yet another subreddit plagued by low-quality posts, insufficient moderation, and sameness.
(This sounds like I'm down on Reddit, which is not the case at all - I like Reddit, just not as a possible host for my blog.)
* Reddit AutoModerator has settings option where every submission and/or comments must be first approved by moderator. AutoModerator supports relatively complex moderator rules. https://www.reddit.com/wiki/automoderator/full-documentation
You can also allow only approved submitters or design rules for allowed submitters.
* Questions to moderators in Reddit should be send as messages to moderators. They show in completely different place where moderators can reply and discuss.
Modmail isn't public, is it? It's only viewable to the sub's mods. If it isn't public, then it is not equivalent to asks.
And why would you move your blog to Reddit without curation team? It seems that Reddit does technically the same as Tumblr, you just have to move your site there and ask you mod team follow.
> but given the nature of Reddit I expect that number would skyrocket, overwhelming the mod team.
That's very, very unlikely to happen. People start their own subreddits and want more people, but it's just as painful to grow the number of subscribers as everywhere else.
There's a lot of subreddits configured to only allow text posts, one of the subreddits I frequent is configired to delete your post if it is an image post that doesn't have a top level comment by the poster, as the subreddit rules require all image posts to have text descriptions (to guide conversation/mitigate low quality posts).
I don't Tumblr so I don't know the full use case for tags, but from what you've described it sounds like flair: https://mods.reddithelp.com/hc/en-us/articles/360010513191-P...
Tags are in the same general family as flair, but they're distant cousins of each other. Reddit generally expects one flair per post, and for flair to be short. My blog uses a minimum of three tags per post, with around 95% of posts having four to seven tags. A couple of those could go away due to the difference in how flair and tags are used, but that would still be at least two flairs per post on most posts. It also still doesn't solve for very long tags.
Plus what the other commenter said about formatting and poor workflow. The mods can just barely handle the current workload of reviewing ~30-40 posts per day, choosing 20 to post, and adding tags as needed. If we had to open an email, then open a link (and hope the link was functional and not malicious), then review the submission, then copy the submission, then open the "submit a post" dialogue, then paste, then format, then post... yeah, that's way too much.
There's an IFTTT workflow for sending Tumblr posts to Reddit, but unfortunately the API it uses doesn't preserve any formatting, so you end up with a giant text blob. I don't think it could handle image posts. If that worked, I'd happily start sending things to a subreddit.
Another option is to set all posts by non-approved users to be automatically flagged (hidden to non-moderators), and moderators can un-flag the posts. Which, I think, is the workflow you're looking for? All you have to do is set the spam filter to "All" in the subreddit settings.
You still run into the problem that a lot of people might not want to use reddit, and you'll just end up fragmenting the people following your blog and lose a lot of readers.
Also, it's just not a simple workflow to copy/paste from email. On Tumblr you just push a button and the post goes up.
In tumblr can have other people submit content to you to post on your tumblr. You just have to approve it or reject it.
They get visibility, you get a steady stream of content and your followers get a curated feed.
Not only were they not, the implementation was to simply turn on the safe-mode filter and remove the setting to turn it off, while still allowing the adult content on subscribers' dashboards. So they had no idea they were blocked from the public until someone told them, since subscribers could still interact from that one page.
I expect it to continue to drop as more realize this.
This is probably patched now but if not it might show you how much they care about this.
Verizon may well be OK with killing Tumblr. It's far outside their core competency, and unlike their core competency, it's hard to monetize.
With SESTA/FOSTA they could be held liable for anything too sexual. I imagine Tumblr even as an independent agency would do the same.
This is just puritanical American values being imposed.
Of course they weren't, but SESTA outlawed a whole lot more than that. "Sex trafficking" was just the excuse SESTA's authors gave.
How is tumblr meant to economically filter those that do from those that don't? Algorithmic detection of pornography of any sort is a much easier (cheaper) problem to solve.
Tumblr was acquired over five years ago.
But moreover, it's not only Tumblr that has banned pornography or nudity, drastically altered their content policies, or even shut down altogether in the last twelve months since SESTA passed. They happen to be one of the biggest, but I have literally lost track of how many other sites have responded in a similarly drastic way.
SESTA includes incredibly onerous penalties, including jail time, for even accidental noncompliance. On the other hand, there is no legal penalty for being overly cautious. So unsurprisingly, most websites choose the less risky and scary option.
And then again, less than two years ago. Which acquisition do you think GP referred to?
If you'd like to read the rest of my comment, I explained why neither acquisition is relevant.
Sell Tumblr while it is still alive?
As soon as SESTA passed, Tumblr's days were numbered. Any potential buyer could see that as easily as Verizon could. (And even if they couldn't, Verizon would have to disclose it during due diligence or else they would be opening themselves up to a massive lawsuit).
Tumbler really didn't do anyone justice. They're clearly reaping what they sowed. Unfortunately it's a lose/lose/lose situation for all.
They don't want huge traffic that they can't monetize. Unless they release revenue numbers that have also fallen by a lot, then it's hard to say what they've reaped.
People made similar remarks as yours when Google+ imposed the real name policy. Google+ is now dead.
HN tends to think of all sorts of technical or marketing reasons for why platforms live or die, however the best reasons for why social platforms live or die are always social ones.
> But a former staff engineer, who recently left Tumblr and asked to remain anonymous for professional reasons, tells Vox that the NSFW ban was “in the works for about six months as an official project,” adding that it was given additional resources and named “Project X” in September, shortly before it was announced to the rest of the company at an all-hands meeting. “[The NSFW ban] was going to happen anyway,” the former engineer told me. “Verizon pushed it out the door after the child pornography thing and made the deadline sooner,” but the real problem was always that Verizon couldn’t sell ads next to porn.
Apparently the Daily Mail Online is running this morning's NZ murder video on its front page. Right next to the ads.
Ah, so shortly after SESTA was signed into law.
Quite the opposite - it's much easier to allow pornography and ban only child pornography than it is to create an automated system to detect pornography.
PhotoDNA makes it easy to find matches, which can then be used to uncover the networks of people posting child pornography, which are then added back to the database. It doesn't require any computer vision at all.
By contrast, banning all pornography does require computer vision of some sort, and that's much more difficult, as evidenced by how terrible the new Tumblr NSFW content detector is.
I'm not saying it's necessarily the right policy, but it does.make a difference.
Child pornography online isn't a new problem and Tumblr must have been negligent in policing it.
These things exist. Tumblr decided not to bother, which forced them to panic and nuke the site from orbit.
It’s a mess of their own making.
Tumblr had an entire team that did literally all of those things, for years. They did not "decide not to bother".
Their employees still need to moderate their platform and ensure there's no child porn. Banning regular, legal porn has zero bearing on this.
Twitter has plenty of legal porn without butting heads with this issue. Facebook doesn't allow porn and have to deal with the child pornography issue.
Taking the stance of "we banned all porn because of child porn" is lazy and deflects responsibility and agency of their actions. They banned porn because the suits higher up said they didn't like it, full stop. Trying to save face with the community and blame child porn is dishonest when every platform, from 4chan to Facebook, has to police and report child porn.
Tumblr's interest and traffic has been on a long decline, this deviates or accelerates the decline but who knows by how much, maybe it only sped up Tumblr's demise by 12 months ( https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=today%205-y&ge... )
I suspect the real story here was budget cuts, and moderation was a big cost center. They did a half ass job and got shitty results. The users are not going to return. I suspect they will be completely shut down or kicked back and forth between buyers indefinitely, like Myspace. These sorts of consumer web brands never seem to come back after a screw up and I doubt Tumblr is going to be an exception.
There is a lot to be said about the Berkshire Hathaway way of just managing companies for the long term, not only when there isn't any growth but as they are shrinking.
Let’s not forget that this is not about whether to spend money or not - it’s about where to spend money. Advertisers have countless options for where and how to advertise, so it makes sense to shift money to more boring, safe platforms where the ROI is almost identical anyway.
This whole ad-based internet needs to die.
Ads are an important means for companies to get the word out for stuff you might want and they're in more places than the internet.
The industry suffers from inefficiencies, surely, but it's still net beneficial.
Someday we might have fewer ads, and better ads that we really want to see.
If you ever get into a position where you have a company, and you run ads, and you see how it affects your business, you might have a different view. For example, I'm helping with a small new business making a very cool niche product - they'd be dead without FB ads because only FB offers the kind of targeting necessary (just basic demographics really). None of us are big fans of FB but the business would not exist without them.
Businesses that have more scale and bigger budgets can hit demos a little easier, but there's only two real games in town for many businesses: G and FB.
And of course, we would never, ever advertise near porn, not for a second. In fact - if we felt that 'Tumblr' became well known or synonymous with porn, we wouldn't advertise there. As far as G, well, they have porn, but for whatever reason, it doesn't seem to affect their brand.
I don't understand how the first and last sentence are compatible, unless you're saying that you'd never advertise near a brand known for porn, and don't care otherwise? That's not a very principled stance, and it really does seem wastefully harmful to a lot of sites.
For example, advertisers do not want their ads shown before a youtube clip if it contains porn.
Google is not seen as a 'porn brand' because ostensibly they are just technology - they help you find stuff.
Tumblr had a problem in that a considerable portion of their content was porn.
If it happens that Google develops this popular attribution, i.e. they are known as a 'porn brand' - then people would advertise there, but I don't think this will ever be the case.
FYI - Google also has some content controls, they don't have ads for porn, they don't promote it etc.
Again, this is very easy social math. The 'proof' is not in any of my statements, rather, it's the consistent application by basically every ad agency: they don't want their ads with porn. But they're ok with their ads on a site that may happen to show it if there isn't a branding concern and there obviously is not with Google.
That‘s why I said the „I build something neat that people wanna use and when I have enough users I exploit the shit out of them“ aka ad-based business model needs to die.
Putting a banner on some popular place is ok, but it devolved in the current mess due to market forces and I'm not really sure we can fix advertising with enough regulation.
But I think there's probably a very simple answer. People in the mood for porn are going to be substantially focused on the content they're after, rather than getting distracted by your ad. Contrast this against something like a cat pic. Ah that's cute -- then 2 seconds later your mind and attention is wondering, ideally right on over to their ad. The porn ends up being a much worse value proposition than the cat pic, or more generally than any rapidly consumed low-effort low-intensity content.
I think the exact same can also explain why advertisers prefer to avoid 'controversial' content. I expect the advertisers ostensibly kowtowing to social media outrage mobs are mostly just using them as useful idiots. They point out controversial and likely highly immersive content. Pulling out not only gets them a few social media white knight points, but also generally results in some degree of controversy which also helps spread their brand name effectively working as free advertising. You might even get things such as people deciding to follow you on social media as a means of virtue signaling. This also points to another ironic point that I think supports the above hypothesis. Advertisers are more than fine with controversy when they themselves are the controversy. See: e.g. Gillette that intentionally planned an advertising campaign exclusively around fanning the flames of a culture war.
> As of March 1, 2019, Tumblr hosts over 459 million blogs. As of January 2016, the website had 555 million monthly visitors.
The numbers quoted in the article are barely more charitable. Basically it's about one monthly visitor per blog... which one would assume means the blog owners periodically check what their sites look like.
Was anyone actually using Tumblr for anything but porn nowadays?
What I've encountered there most frequently is blogs with "atmospheric" photos and images. I always thought that most frequent use for tumblr is the same as pinterest: for collecting pics of the same theme, "moodboards".
Of course I've seen nudes there, but almost no real porn, i.e. no photos of sexual intercourse. I've rarely seen blogs entirely of nudes, they were mostly posted amongst other "atmospheric" pics.
Funnily enough, the Great Tiddy Ban of 2018 doesn't seem to have actually cut the flood of pornbots by much.
For sure, but it doesn't seem to be stopping Tumblr from boasting that it has 461M blogs . Even if we charitably assume that as many as .1% of those are run by real, actual humans, that figure makes Tumblr look like a small platform with not many users -- particularly if, as you've noted, there are still tons of porn bots on it.
Even 1% active non-spam blogs, meaning 100 visitors per site per month on average, seems unlikely to me.
Reddit has well over one million subreddits, but only counts about 140,000 as "active".
I've been looking at Google+ Communities recently and have more insight there.
There are ove 8.1 million communities. Over 45% have one, or nil, members. The median membership is 2, the 95%ile is about 118.
That said, there are a just over 50 with >1 million members, a couple thousand over 100k, and about 10k over 10k members.
Looking at both size and activity, for communities with over:
1,000 members: active w/in 1 week 28,823. Active w/in 1 month 39,301
100 members: active w/in 1 week 63,874. Active w/in 1 month 105,166
And yes, there's a ton of crud in the full 8 million and smaller 105k sets, but also the odd good bits.
Source: own and contributed data from Web crawls.
But best I'm aware, Reddit isn't communicating about how many subreddits it has anywhere, let alone on its about page.
Tumblr, by contrast, happily boasts its useless number on its about page.
Not everything that matters can be counted.
Simple channel counts are an availability heuristic. They provide some information, though less than at first blush.
Quality measures are difficult.
Advertisers want to be excluded from placements next to adult content, to the point that there's entirely separate ad networks and payment processors that are exclusive to adult content.
I'm guessing that this is the first step of a monetization overhaul for Tumblr, this traffic was only costing them money and they don't see it as a loss of users, more of a good riddance.
I feel that this is maybe Tumblr's ad teams failing and they could have argued around this. When using the Dashboard the UI design of the system felt very much like every post on that screen was there because your chose it to be there so even if you injected ads into it there was never the feeling that ads were next to pornography posts because your feed was only ever full of pornography if you actively followed people who post it.
It was all manually curated by you not an algorithm system like Twitter, Gyphy, Imgur etc.
And keep in mind that this could be the start of an overall downward trend. If 30% leave, then activity on the platform crumbles. Some of the remaining users notice the decline in activity and so they leave. Rinse, repeat. Once it reaches a critical mass, you can't stop the decline and tumblr is finished.
Or it could be a temperory decline and a new plateau is reached where tumblr can survive at.
But apparently Tumblr is fine with it, because surely they knew how much traffic it was driving? Or else someone did a truly shitty job with their website statistics.
I can only assume they expect the brand value to rise proportionally to the level that better advertising profits will offset the loss of porn. I guess that's the harder number to estimate, and I have a feeling they're S.O.L. because all blogging platforms are struggling in the days of the big services like Instagram and Facebook, and those don't even have to try reverse a brand associated with porn... They can speak of staying out of these big social networks and win privacy and not selling your private life, but the problem is that literally billions are on these services. They're giving you the unparalleled reach.
That points back to July 2018. It's not quite a smoking gun, as their GDPR banner went up in late May, ahead of the 25th May deadline; even back then people were complaining that their tumblr stats were tumbling.
I moved 1500+ posts (drawings, own content) from Tumblr to Jekyll just to avoid that page. It seems designed to repel visitors permanently. People cannot reasonably opt out of 300+ ads-trackers each time they check a single blog. Another great missed opportunity as a competitor to WordPress, and other blogging platforms, Tumblr will follow the path of Posterous.
America is neo-Protestant, not puritanical.
Most people were expecting Tumblr to be dead. I am sure they are pretty happy with these numbers.
... really? You can use LGBT+ that's four letters. Or GSM (Gender/Sexual Minorities), that's three letters and it doesn't require you to stay current on what the letters represent.
Going out of your way to type more letters to take a shot at a minority community is not a great look.
Sure and that's on purpose. Your perception of it is not the idea this acronym is trying to push. It's not a label to say "homosexual" or "I like people of the same gender as my own".
It's about unifying the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities together under an umbrella. Individually they have different values, lifestyles and challenges. Together they have a stronger voice and can tackle shared issues. They are very different identities.
As other communities grow bigger, they are welcomed into the acronym. That's the very point of it and that's why it often gain letters.
I know that "the internet is for porn", but, well, not ALL of it and especially not all Tumblr is serving pornography.
Unsurprisingly, they're not going to defend a site which has become synonymous with SJWs, liberals and feminists.
In response to this nonsense I've built Libr (https://librapp.com). I'm in the process of launching it to production now, first to the early access people that signed up and then to the wider public.
It's a progressive web app built on serverless tech and could handle all of that lost Tumblr traffic, if it all came overnight (unlikely but who knows)
Male safety in this regard is not of equal importance because male risk is so low in proportion as to be practically nonexistent.
IIRC, Tumblr users tend more often to be women, so it makes sense to advertise features towards women for a site whose intent is to draw in former Tumblr users. But... the site doesn't say those features are only available for women, so given that they're available for men as well, I don't see what the concern is.
We value lives equally, even though some need more protection than others.
However, there's still little point in mentioning men, specifically, when advertising those features to a primarily female demographic with those specific concerns.
It's all in TypeScript.
Production infrastructure stack and the elasticsearch setup isn't for security reasons (WordPress.com works the same way).
Chat/messaging isn't being launched initially but almost everything else is.