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Rex Sorgatz

The Grey Album is less great in retrospect

feb 18
2009

Tumblr Shut-Downs

A link-heavy and quote-filled NYT story about the current controversy on Tumblr.

5 comments

Manners? on the intrawebs? c'mon dude..

posted by marrina at 3:52 PM on February 18, 2009

it sounds to me like tumblr should have responded with clever technology, not knee-jerk banning. this has the whiff of the beginning of the end to it.

posted by alesh at 5:02 PM on February 18, 2009

I wouldn't say this is the beginning of the end but it does feel a little like when Karp loses his innocence. Karp & Co ban some sites that are knocking their good friend and (probably) their highest profile user. In the old days, when it was just Karp and all his pals this would have been fine, kicking out the mean people attacking his circle, maybe even celebrated. But Tumblr's growing up, or trying to at least and the community of users are beyond Karp's influence.

If Tumblr wants to grow from a boutique blogging service and be a real alternative to Blogger or WordPress they can't make decisions like this that seem pretty clearly to be based on personal relationships. I don't care about Julia Allison or her critics but you don't shut people down because they are knocking your friends. Alesh is right, the solution here was making some sort of reblogging stopper, not censorship.

Am I just stating the obvious here?

posted by Jake at 6:06 PM on February 18, 2009

@rosilina: but they weren't actually publishing content or anything like that. They were simply there to use the reblog feature to harass other people. I think it should be part of the guidelines that reblog abuse would be subject to some sort of discipline; there are other ways I can think of people using that feature to do things that are abusive to others.

posted by Brian Van at 4:13 AM on February 19, 2009

"abuse" and even "harassment" are slippery concepts, and the other end of that particular scale reads "satire."

It sounds to me like these people were using reblogging to MAKE FUN OF Allison. Maybe they were being nasty, but that is still a super-lame excuse for banning someone from something that isn't explicitly a private community.

"Just reblogging with some comments" is a pretty interesting dismissal, btw. Isn't that a description of 99% of blogging?

posted by alesh at 11:04 AM on February 19, 2009




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