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.
VERIZON IS KILLING TUMBLR'S FIGHT FOR NET NEUTRALITY
[Kaitlyn Tiffany/The Verge]