An open letter to Tumblr:
I didn’t want to say anything because frankly I didn’t want to see it. But Tumblr, ever since the Yahoo takeover you’ve been acting strangely. We knew change was imminent and have been vocal with our qualms from the start and for good reason because once it happened we noticed the changes straight away. It began with ad-sponsored posts. You let iOS users’ passwords become vulnerable to hackers who could’ve easily snagged it over open Wi-Fi networks with their wily ways and then, just as suspected, you let them come for the porn. And in doing so you’ve alienated the LGBTQ community! What’s next, Tumblr? What’s next?
All jokes aside, there’s something amazing about the way Tumblr users rallied to save their porn. Over 20,000 users signed a Change.org petition that claimed that the blacklisting of blogs with adult tags was essentially “shunning people off of Tumblr.” Obviously the issue resonates with users, because some of the tags that had been banned weren’t just pornographic labels but advocacy terms for LGBTQ groups. Terms like #gay, #lesbian and #bisexual which returns pornographic material also labels the articulation of support for certain marginalized groups.
A response from Tumblr’s founder and CEO, David Karp, was posted claiming the blocking of tags from the mobile app search was necessary to prevent the apps from being removed from app stores.
“The reason you see innocent tags like #gay being blocked on certain platforms is that they are still frequently returning adult content which our entire app was close to being banned for. “
It isn’t so much that the people of Tumblr were lamenting the loss of easy access to/dissemination of porn but rather the fear of losing their platform for voicing opinions on the LGBTQ community. Karp explained that the solution was ‘more intelligent filtering,’ which the team was working on, but in the meantime, users could browse the #lgbtq