The Verge: Tumblr is rolling out an internet literacy initiative to help combat misinformation and cyberbullying. “The initiative, World Wide What, was developed in partnership with a nonprofit internet literacy organization based in the United Kingdom called Ditch the Label. The campaign consists of six informational videos that walk Tumbr’s community through topics like fake news and authenticity, along with other issues the platform encounters, like cyberbullying.”
The Atlantic: Tumblr’s First Year Without Porn. “From 2018 to 2019, the average number of unique monthly visitors to Tumblr’s website decreased by 21.2 percent, according to data compiled by the analytics service SimilarWeb. The total volume of visits to the site is in decline, as is the number of visits per unique visitor, as is the amount of time that visitors spend on the site. From 2018 to 2019, the average site visit dropped by nearly a minute, and the average number of pages per visit dropped by more than one and a half.”
MakeUseOf: Tumblr Launches Disappearing Group Chats . “Tumblr has launched group chats. Tumblr’s group chats are ephemeral, publicly viewable, and designed to connect people who are passionate about niche interests. And they’re available right now on Tumblr’s mobile apps on Android and iOS.”
CNET: Tumblr’s a rare safe haven amid all of the internet’s ugliness. “…to really understand Tumblr’s value, it’s important to look beyond growth statistics. Despite the decline, there’s life in it yet, what with a current tally of 475 active million blogs, according to the platform’s own stats. What’s more, that life consists of vibrant micro-communities — fonts of creativity and places for people to explore their passions.”
Be warned, this is a family-sized bucket of bugnuts. Mashable: The 7 best Tumblr scams of all time . “For me, and at least a few others, it’s hard to leave the bizarrely unique social sphere of a site like Tumblr. The news that Verizon recently sold the website to Automattic (the owners of WordPress) barely fazed us. There are legitimate reasons why we’ve stuck around for so long, most of all for the personal, tight-knit community early internet message boards and fan sites were known for. It’s almost like a semi-private group chat, where you can be out as LGBTQ, hyperfixate on weird shit, and openly kin Naruto (do not ask). The nature of the Tumblr ‘bubble’ also allows a lot of messed-up shit to breed like crazy.”
Boing Boing: Announcement of Tumblr’s sale to WordPress classified as pornography by Tumblr’s notorious “adult content” filter. “The filter is a piece of unadulterated, unsalvageable garbage. Its awfulness is hard to overstate, but it can be neatly illustrated by this Bruce Sterling post, which reveals that the Tumblr porn filter blocked Sterling’s post of a screenshot of a news story about the acquisition, which includes the happy coda, ‘This decision cannot be appealed.'”
TechCrunch: Verizon is selling Tumblr to WordPress parent, Automattic. “Six years after Yahoo purchased Tumblr for north of $1 billion, its parent corporation is selling the once dominant blogging platform. WordPress owner Automattic Inc. has agreed to take the service off of Verizon’s hands. Terms of the deal are undisclosed, but the number is ‘nominal,’ compared to its original asking price, per an article in The Wall Street Journal.” Axios is reporting that it was less than $20 million. From $1 billion purchase by Yahoo to reportedly less than $20 million. And just to make this as fun as possible, I’ll note that the sale price of Tumblr was apparently less than Marissa Mayer’s severance pay of $23 million.
BuzzFeed News: Pornhub Is “Extremely Interested” In Acquiring Tumblr. “Pornhub Vice President Corey Price said in an email to BuzzFeed News that the porn-streaming giant is extremely interested in buying Tumblr, the once uniquely horny hub for young women and queer people that banned adult content last December to the disappointment of many of its users. Price said that restoring Tumblr’s NSFW edge would be central to their acquisition of it, were it to actually happen.”
The Verge: Verizon is looking to sell Tumblr after squandering its potential. “Verizon is seeking a buyer for Tumblr, the blogging platform it acquired along with other Yahoo assets in 2017. The Wall Street Journal reports that Verizon has approached other companies in recent weeks that could be potential new homes for Tumblr. The platform hosts 465.4 million blogs and 172 billion posts, according to its about page. The Journal notes that the sale process ‘is ongoing’ and might not result in any transaction.”
TechCrunch: Tumblr – finally – enables HTTPS for all accounts. “Better late than never, Tumblr has rolled out HTTPS across its entire site.”
CNET: Tumblr traffic slumps after December adult content ban. “Similarweb, a web analytics firm, reported that visits to the popular blogging site have dipped significantly since the December pornography ban. On Dec. 3, total Tumblr views on desktop and mobile were at just over 520 million. As of Jan. 28, views had dropped by more than 100 million, according to Similarweb.”
CNN: We tested Tumblr’s ban on porn. It needs work. “A picture of a woman breastfeeding a baby. A fully clothed woman taking selfies in the mirror. A photo of a vase. These images were all wrongly flagged by Tumblr as improper. Tumblr began its crackdown on adult content several weeks ago. But behind the scenes its technology still struggles to figure out the difference between what’s banned and approved nudity.”
TechCrunch: Indonesia unblocks Tumblr following its ban on adult content . “Indonesia, the world’s fourth largest country by population, has unblocked Tumblr nine months after it blocked the social networking site over pornographic content.”
CNET: Tumblr porn ban goes into effect, puppy photos caught in sweep. “Tumblr’s ban on adult content went into effect Monday, and it didn’t take long for users to bare their naked thoughts on the move. The blogging platform announced the change Dec. 3 in a post titled ‘A better, more positive Tumblr.’ On Monday, a new post apologized for what the site admitted has ‘not been an easy transition.’ Flagged content will be hidden, not deleted, the site reported.” The examples in the article would be hysterical if they weren’t enraging.
Fast Company: Tumblr’s NSFW castaways are flocking to these lifeboats as a ban looms. “Since Tumblr announced the ban on December 3, bloggers with NSFW content have been scrambling to move to other sites, build new sites, and/or archive blogs till they can figure out next steps. As the deadline looms, here are some tools, companies, volunteer projects, and individuals offering lifeboats.” Considering the examples of what Tumblr has marked as “sexual content” that I’ve seen on Twitter, I’d argue that *everybody* who has a Tumblr blog they care about needs to get it backed up and out ASAP.