Announcement of Tumblr's sale to WordPress classified as pornography by Tumblr's notorious "adult content" filter

Tumblr is being sold to WordPress parent company Automattic for a reported price of "less than $3m," a substantial decline from the $1.1B Yahoo paid for the company in 2013 (Yahoo subsequently sold Tumblr and several other startups it had overpaid for and then ruined to Verizon for more than $4b). Read the rest

WordPress is buying Tumblr

Automattic (beloved parent company of WordPress) is buying Tumblr from Verizon (loathesome parent company of Oath, a division named because its users are generally angry enough to swear at it), at a price "well below" $20m (which is well below the $1.1b Yahoo paid in 2013). No word as to whether Automattic will get rid of Tumblr's world-beatingly-terrible pornography filter. (via Bruce Sterling's Tumblr) Read the rest

TOSsed out: EFF catalogs the perverse ways that platform moderation policies hurt the people they're supposed to protect

TOSsed Out is a new project from the Electronic Frontier Foundation that catalogs the myriad of ways in which Big Tech platforms' moderation policies backfire spectacularly, like the anti-terrorism policies that delete evidence of war-crimes needed by investigators and prosecutors. Read the rest

Tumblr is for sale...again

Verizon wants to divest itself of Tumblr, having squandered much of the goodwill that made the platform so beloved by creating literally the stupidest censorship regime in the history of the internet; Tumblr became part of Verizon through the sale of Yahoo's media assets, and is part of a group Verizon dubbed "Oath" because everyone who encounters it ends up swearing. Verizon has admitted that it made a stupid, multi-billion dollar mistake when it bought Tumblr and its sister companies. (via Mitch Wagner) Read the rest

Before Tumblr switched off access to NSFW blogs, it blocked archivists who were trying to preserve them

When Tumblr announced its plan to purge "female-presenting nipples from its service, the volunteer Archive Team leapt into action, working furiously to preserve years of material before Tumblr tore a huge hole in the internet's historical record. Read the rest

Tumblr's porn filter blocked Tumblr's images illustrating what Tumblr's porn filter won't block

Yesterday, despite the manifest, glaring problems with its porn filter, Tumblr turned on mandatory porn-blocking for all its users' content, so that anything that its bots identified a pornographic would be invisible. Read the rest

Verizon writes down its Yahoo/AOL assets by $4.6 billion

A friend who works in ad-tech tells me that Verizon's datasets from its Yahoo/AOL assets are "the creepiest" in the industry, but even with every dirty trick and every stupid, harebrained scheme, the companies formerly known as Oath (because everything Verizon did made their users swear uncontrollably) are basically worthless. Read the rest

Shitty Tumblr pornbot inception

It started when Tumblr flagged one of my retrospective posts (a five year old post about the right of British schoolkids to opt out of fingerprinting) as porn. Read the rest

Every NSFWpocalypse sends users to small, indie platforms, who are threatened by the same factors that make no-platforming practical

Back when Livejournal purged its NSFW fanficcers and other text-based purveyors of delightful smut, users flocked to Dreamwidth, a small, indie, smut-tolerant community run as much as a labor of love as it is as a business. Read the rest

Liartown, USA leaves Tumblr over NSFW-ban; announces new 544-page Crap Hound book "devoted to images notable for their lack of positivity"

Liartown, USA is Sean Tejaratchi's (previously) incredible, longrunning visual surreal satire site, and it is the latest casualty of parent company Verizon's decision to purge the site of all NSFW content effective Dec 17. Read the rest

The Death of Tumblr

Tumblr will ban 'female-presenting nipples' and other content beginning December 17, 2018. Photographer and writer Nate 'Igor' Smith is a longtime Tumblr user whose work straddles the boundaries of art, editorial, and adult. Here, Nate explains why Tumblr's decision to censor is devastating for the Tumblr's longtime users, and the rest of us. — XJ

THERE WAS A TIME when Tumblr was my favorite place to post photos. It was a social network that you could customize in so many ways that you could create a blog or a mood board or hide a secret project behind a password protected gate. It was used by so many people in so many different ways. You could posts .gifs on Tumblr before they worked on Twitter and you could post uncompressed images that looked good on desktop or smartphone without having to know any code.

I used it as a great place to post images that I could then send to Twitter to get around Twitter’s terrible compression and constantly flowing feed. I used it as a place to organize my images because of Tumblr’s tagging system. I could search for a person or subject or send someone a link to just a specific tag so they could see all my favorite photos of juggalos for example. It was a fantastic tool and my most popular social network until Instagram really exploded. Read the rest

Liartown: the First Four Years, a tour-de-force of killer shooping and acerbic wit

Sean Tejaratchi's amazing Liartown, USA (previously) is a bottomless well of astoundingly good photoshops from a parallel universe of bitter, ha-ha-only-serious sight gags, minutely detailed, lovingly crafted and often NSFW; Tejaratchi's new 248-page color, 8.5"x11" anthology, LiarTown: The First Four Years 2013-2017 is a powerful dose of creepypasta in its purest form.

"Friendly" apps are good at maximizing engagement, but their context-blindness is a cesspit of algorithmic cruelty

Designers use metrics and a/b splitting experiments to maximize engagement with their products, seeking out the phrases that trigger emotional responses in users -- like a smart scale that congratulates you on losing weight -- but these systems are context-blind, so they are unable to distinguish between people who might be traumatized by their messages (say, a woman who's just miscarried late in her pregnancy, being congratulated on her "weight loss"). Read the rest

EFF will defend McMansion Hell from Zillow's copyfraudulent bullying

McMansion Hell is a hilarious blog where Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute graduate student Kate Wagner posts scorching critiques of the architecture of McMansions -- but this week, Wagner announced that she had shut down her blog after spurious legal threats from Zillow, which admits that it doesn't even hold the copyrights to the images it wants Wagner to stop using. Read the rest

Verizon bought Yahoo, so Flickr and Tumblr users with AT&T email addresses are being cut off

Verizon's using its purchase of Yahoo for more than undermining the fight for net neutrality: it's also using its new acquisitions to make anti-competitive moves against its telcoms rivals, deploying the users of Flickr and Tumblr as hostages. Read the rest

Tumblr is now owned by a phone company, so it's stopped fighting for Network Neutrality

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. Read the rest

‘Tis the season for 'Chicago dibs' on snow-shoveled parking spaces

With winter officially here, it’s time to revisit the unique practice that is “Chicago dibs.” Read the rest

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