Tumblr’s porn ban and what might happen next

Today controversial social media site Tumblr, widely known for being a breeding ground for some of the most delusional ideas and people on the internet has decided to not shut down, but to instead blow themselves up with a grenade launcher before dying in the hospital with their final words being about how they didn’t think it would hurt this badly. How did they do this you might ask? By banning porn, the one thing the site had a reputation for that wasn’t revolving around crazy hedonistic teenagers making poor life choices.

The last few weeks haven’t been so great for Tumblr after all. Recently the app was pulled from the Apple app store because child pornography was found on it. Now this is far from the first time an app has been pulled from the app store for that, and the messaging app Telegram was quickly pulled from it before being reinstated a day or so later, but Tumblr still isn’t back up on the app store even after likely taking action. Tumblr then started to ban NSFW artists and once artists found out they started moving towards other websites, but what happened today is something straight out of left field. Instead of hiring more moderators, Tumblr is now trying to straight up ban porn from their website.

This is having major repercussions and the tech media is all over this. While some tech sites are blaming apple due to their censorship policies that seep into apps that allow NSFW content on Android phones like Telegram or Reddit, others are whining about how it’s a blow for hedonistic petri dishes and that they should be banning “Nazis” instead. Even though Tumblr has its own share of degeneracy from special snowflake genders to school shooter worshippers, people pretending to be Nazis are a bigger issue than broken teens confused about their gender pretending to be Eric Harris and if you thought that was an edgy joke just look up Randy Stair.

Personally I’m glad Tumblr is shooting themselves in the foot, especially since that dying site had a reputation of only being “good for the porn” because of artists using that instead of other art sites. Otherwise that site was notable for helping breeding probably the most toxic culture on the internet, a culture where one feels like they’re walking on eggshells at the risk of offending somebody who goes out of their way to be offended at your posts. Hell, I still remember back in my YouTube days when that site would still show you search terms for your videos, and a lot of people got to my videos by searching (game name here) sucks, only to flip their shit at anyone making a video on it. I have absolutely no reason to doubt people on Tumblr didn’t do the same, hell there’s a theory that the people behind the “bake the cake bigot” lawsuit sought out a specific place to bake the cake so they could sue the bakery instead of going to any other bakery in the area.

But the site shutting down isn’t going to deprogram a bunch of crazy people, and that’s where the interesting part is. Where are they going to move to? Now Tumblr’s history was that of every typical megacity or Silicon Valley Tech Company. They start out with the idea that “we’re not like the other tech companies”, only to get bought out by one of those other tech companies, become just like the other tech companies, shoot themselves in the foot, and wonder why everyone is leaving them before they get shut down. Then the cycle repeats all over again, just look at Skype and Discord. Discord is a bloated javascript electron mess now, but it’s okay because it’s not Skype. So first we have to ask the obvious question to think about later, what makes you think these other platforms aren’t going to turn to shit? But even then, let’s get back to the main point and that is Tumblr is in a death spiral. People are going to leave, the site’s reputation for inactivity is going to worsen, and even more people will leave in favor of the new hip website to post on.

For places Tumblr users are going to leave towards, there are multiple ones. The obvious elephant in the room is Twitter which has bent over backwards for Tumblr’s userbase time and time again. Just recently Jack banned misgendering anyone who identifies as transgender on the site which can have serious implications if said person has dirty laundry. Twitter also has a huge art community, with porn artists embracing it as well. Since Tumblr’s userbase has been migrating to Twitter it makes sense more would migrate there. There’s also Mastodon which is like Twitter except everyone on their instances got banned from Twitter for spamming “KILL TERFS” and breaking the “no hate speech” rule due to that. If more people used Mastodon though it’d be a more popular site for Tumblr users to migrate to since as a friend put it “if you go in all you’ll walk out with is an intense loathing of the word ‘estrogen’.” There’s also Pillowfort.io but the site is down right now and the fact they charge $5 to sign up is going to cripple the site because the rise of free iOS apps drove the final nail in the coffin of paywalled sites.

The art section of the web has the usual websites. FurAffinity is naturally where some furries will go to, but others will stick to social networks since even though Dragoneer is bending over backwards for furries who’ve gone all in on the Tumblr mindset (which is shockingly increasing) he’s still not doing enough to ban people they don’t want. Nobody uses Weasyl and Inkbunny has the pedo reputation because of their reputation of being a containment site for cub art because nobody else except pixiv allows it. Pixiv is mostly a Japanese oriented site and is unpopular outside of weebs and furries digging deep for obscure Japanese porn artists. Oh wait, they use Twitter now too. Newgrounds is a website that had been dying for a while with the whole internet animator and flash games trends being as forgotten as YTMNDs (outside of the Moon Man meme) and Something Awful forums, however it has an art section. When Tumblr announced their ban Newgrounds got such a big boost in users that they had to increase server capacity and their owner even welcomed Tumblr refugees.

The real question is when Tumblr users jump off their sinking ship is what’s going to happen to the sites they join? Twitter won’t change much at all as Twitter’s been Tumblrized for quite some time now. After the #GamerGate movement found some success in 2014 and Donald Trump won the election in 2016, social media sites including Twitter threw out any remaining illusion of free speech in favor of mass bans to the point of even far left tranny commies getting banned for spamming KILL TERFS. Tumblr users will be right at home on Twitter. The furry art sites and Twitter were already being used by most artists online however and FurAffinity has been somewhat Tumblrized with Dragoneer’s aggressive banning to please easily offended furries.

But the real wildcard here is Newgrounds. Now Newgrounds has a very specific userbase as is the case with a lot of sites as they shrink down in size. The site goes from being a mainstream platform that every kid has memories of at some point in time to still being around, kept alive by a smaller niche community that’s closer as it dwindles over time. Newgrounds is now getting a ton of new people on that website thanks to the migration, but Tumblr also had that very specific reputation of being full of offended snowflakes that would attack you for little things and posting there was literally like walking on eggshells unless you were in the sites target demographic of crazy teenagers looking for race swapped and top surgery scarred versions of pop culture characters. And even if you were a part of that community who managed to successfully integrate they loved to throw their own under the bus.

So this leads us to two different scenarios for what will happen. The first is that it’ll be a repeat of the NeoGAF saga where the userbase found out that the owner of the site was accused of sexual assault, leading to mass chaos as moderators stepped down and users left the site. The problem was, NeoGAF also had a similar reputation to Tumblr as it also bred a similar toxic community. Most sites didn’t want NeoGAF users and the userbase wanted a similar hugbox, leading to Resetera being formed and gaining a reputation for being an even bigger hugbox than NeoGAF was. Seriously, look at the ban list it’s insane. What will happen here is that the diehard Tumblr users get pushed out of Newgrounds, proceed to bitch about the site, and maybe take it to the media as well. They might try making a Tumblr clone but as Pillowfort has shown they’ll likely screw up somehow.

The second scenario is the classic colonization tactic that was used by a lot of those on the far left to take control of previously apolitical fandoms, either by attrition as Tumblr users outnumber the original community or by taking key positions in the community. In this case the same thing that happened to Tumblr happens but on the other side and with the media in support this time around: The website starts banning “problematic” content after screeching and the users get fed up and leave for another site or community, only for the same thing to happen there most of the time (if it’s to another walled garden). This could also happen if Newgrounds caves in, but caving in also is shooting yourself in the foot since the offended people will never come back to your site and everyone else will leave, accelerating the downward spiral. It’ll be interesting to watch what happens to Newgrounds and I have at least one friend who still uses that site so I’ll know if anything happens.

With that being said good riddance to Tumblr. Sadly the mentality that spread like wildfire on that site won’t go away overnight, but there’s a certain satisfying feeling coming from this. It’s eerily satisfying to see the website that arguably helped accelerate the downfall of the modern internet and to an extent society is finally dead. It might not have been the sole source of those pulling the strings turning broken teenagers into total failures, but it’s time to remember Tumblr in the most fitting way with none other than the classic Tumblristas videos. There’s so many of these videos that were good I posted too many below, there’s 74 of them so enjoy remembering how awful Tumblr was.

Jake

Jake

I'm a purple cat :V

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