Tumblr will become a ghost town in days.
The only other social media network out there with a following that allows near the same level of expression is twitter and I have already seen posts from artists directing their followers there. But twitter is no real substitute to what tumblr offered.
I imagine tumblr's bandwidth costs are going to shrink exponentially.
Perhaps Verizon is gearing up to market it there?
But yes, most artists I know moved away from Tumblr years ago (with great success).
I assume DeviantArt is only focussed on images themselves, and doesn't allow mixing media as trivially as the others, but would love to be corrected.
I just don't get how that keeps on happening when it doesn't seem to be even a good short-termist move.
Whether they'll hold on to it and make it a sustainable income however, is unclear. I personally doubt it because a huge chunk of the Tumblr user base will leave.
In 2016, Motherboard actually did the digging, and discovered a few interesting numbers, categorizing 130M Tumblr users into "producers" of porn, "consumers" (those who follow the producers), and "unintentionally exposed" users who don't follow porn producers but see reblogs from them.
* Only about 1% of users are producers.
* About 22% of Tumblr users are consumers.
* About 28% of Tumblr users are unintentionally exposed.
So, what happens?
* Obviously, they lose the producers.
* They lose some of the consumers, but not all. (Not all of the consumers are there exclusively for porn.)
* They lose some of the unintentionally exposed, but probably not most.
They may lose a quarter or more of their userbase this way, sure, but Tumblr's estimates a few years ago for their total user count were over 200M. Maybe that drops down to "only" 150M, or even 100M. But now their hosting costs have dropped dramatically, too. So if advertising revenue increases or even stays the same as it is now, they win. And 100M users is absolutely a big enough audience to bring in advertisers.
It might be slow but if you have no strong reason to be on Tumblr besides everyone having been on Tumblr you will see a slowly building migration away from Tumblr.
And losing 1/4 the user base overnight is a great way to kick off that migration. It only takes one blog in a web of follows jumping ship to motivate all the other producers and the fans of that blog and its related blogs to move to alternatives.
Perhaps this is a neglected downside. By banning porn you will turn a part of your platform into advertisments for your compeditors. Every post from a popular person saying "I'm moving to X" is an advert for X on your platform.
I suspect the bottom line comes down to the bottom line, though; Tumblr has spent over a decade being a pit that absorbs money, and Verizon is not the kind of company that's going to run a service like that as an experiment. They're making a bet that kicking off the pronz will increase ad revenue, and I'm sure they have projections to back that bet up. That doesn't mean the projections are right, of course, but I don't see how a money-losing Tumblr would have continued under Oath. If this bet doesn't work and they shut it down, everyone will say "ha, we told you that you shouldn't have kicked off the pronz," but the pronz ain't never brought in the bucks for them, and we can safely assume "explicitly set out to monetize the pronz" was never in the cards.
However, now it's very likely that I'll find a mediating app -- or I'll be scraping my own feed -- to avoid the inevitable increased influx of advertisements so Verizon will still lose that possible income from me. I suspect many others will take similar measures (less known apps like Tyblr in iOS for example rid you of ads and make your feed sorted by timestamp and not by an "algorithm").
There are former Tumblr staff members on Twitter saying it will lose 50% of the userbase. Losing 50% of the userbase will unquestionably kill the site stone dead.
Something $3/mo, $30/y — and we'll save all your precious work without hassle! Could work for a significant portion of the audience.
As far as content goes, it is constrained by Japanese law, which is mostly more liberal around art with the exception of their oddly specific yet vague censorship requirements.
Japanese culture has a very strange aspect to it, though. It is a rule following culture and they don't readily change the rules. Once you have a law for something, people don't question it. It's the law. It doesn't matter if it's a good law or a bad law. It's just the law and you make do. None of those laws changed in 70 years and unless some outside force puts pressure on the government, I suspect they won't change for another 70 years.
I always find it amusing that Americans, especially, complain about protectionist agriculture policies of Japan. Or American pundits show surprise at the really bizarre censorship laws. All of it was put in place by the Americans -- albeit probably without realising that once a law is in place, it's gong to be there for a long time :-) This is American culture fast forwarded in time 70 years!
WRT to the liberal laws regarding art... well, generally about what constitutes child pornography: if you are drawing something you have pretty much free reign to draw whatever you like. This is (IMHO humorously) constrained by the specific censorship laws (I suppose the 1940's American occupying forces did not consider child pornography). Artists will follow the letter of the law, but then will feel free to draw whatever they want outside of those boundaries.
I believe this is due to a very strong feeling in Japan that what you think is private and up to you. Even discrimination is famously not illegal in Japan. For example, you are free to serve or not to serve any customer for any reason in Japan. It's a pretty big deal for most people. Remember that before the war Japan had no censorship laws. You could depict anything you wanted in art. The current state of affairs is just an extension of that, tiptoeing around the censorship laws imposed by the occupying forces in the 1940's.
Child pornography is reviled here in Japan to pretty much the same extent that it is anywhere I have ever lived (as well as art that depicts rape, or other violent sexual crimes). However, if you draw it rather than photograph it, it is not illegal. If it doesn't involve anyone other than the artist and the viewer, it's nobody's business but theirs. Talking about it publicly is completely not acceptable in normal society, but thinking about it is your own business (even though most people will privately judge if they think you are the kind of person who is interested in that stuff -- but again, that thinking is private and not expressed publicly).
I'm always hesitant to talk about this stuff on a public forum because I don't want to incite a large thread about what should or should not be classed as child pornography. It's one of those things where no matter what opinion you hold, you are going to be seen as a monster by people who hold a different opinion. I just thought people would be interested in some information about why the rules are so strange in Japan.
This is not true. The obscenity censorship law dates back to 1907, and the enforcement of it for erotic content was also completely detatched from the occupation. https://www.reddit.com/r/japan/comments/4pss4u/why_is_porn_i...
Certainly there are other wordpress multi-site powered adult options still out there.
If tumblr keeps the API oAuth stuff working for NSFA blogs then it's simple to import. Hopefully content will still remain available via backend and API past the 17th for blog admins.
A backup, auto-export service would be nice for end users and connected friends / followers, from tumblr, or wordpress or other platforms. You can never trust your content hosted on other people's computers. (or your own for that matter without a good off site backup system in place)
Why even own it then?
Of course now they can't split it back off to live on its own - they'll just kill it instead.
Nobody thinks twice about burning something to the ground, though. Thats just a cost of doing business.
Usually when a large company buys another company with lots of properties, they invest in the ones they like and shut down the ones they don't like and write off the losses. I haven't read of any news about verizon investing in Tubmlr so this seems like verizon slowly shutting down tumblr.
Should be interesting what their plans for other yahoo properties. They shut down yahoo messenger. What are their plans for yahoo portal, news, sports, finance, etc?
I don't understand the need for such PR dances. Nobody believes the carefully crafted copy-paste statement of the CEO anyway.
I don't know that is what verizon is doing. It's just an educated guess on my part. As for the specifics, I'm sure the execs looked at all the data and they are doing what they feel is in the best interest of the shareholders.
My guess is somewhat aligned with yours albeit a bit more cynical -- I think they will try to exctract a stable advertisement revenue channel out of Tumblr but I don't think it will last.
And yeah, you are likely more right -- they mitigate the PR damage and try to prevent staff leaving in droves, plus maximizing shareholder value.
"Tumblr will lose 80% of its visitors come December 18th"
"Tumblr preparing to shut down"
Think of tumblr as nothing but a way to get pageviews for Cheerios and Volvo ads. It explains their decisions perfectly.
I've always said that cheap is better than free. If all services like Tumblr had debuted at a nominal $0.25 or $0.50 a month and that had become normalized as a way to support the platform without mining data or being at the whims of advertisers, the internet might be in a better place.
Instead we have clickbait, engagement addiction and users as products and not customers.
Not just free platforms. No publication supported by advertising is a viable long-term solution let alone a desirable one. Advertising-based publishing was never a good idea. The current state of the press is a good example of that too. Unfortunately, there are not that many viable alternatives. People would pay for good journalism, not sure they would or should pay to reblog memes and other people's posts.
Define what you mean by “long-term.”
America has a number of ad-supported publications that have been publishing for over 250 years. There are probably older ones in Europe and elsewhere.
Indeed the ad-supported model is or was viable in print for a long time, although we started to see a shift there as well. Today the print media is struggling, ad revenue may no longer be enough to keep most publications afloat. The fact this model still works for some titles and was viable for centuries doesn't make it particularly good either. With an ad-based structure, the independent press ideal was flawed from the start.
This i dont understand though. Who wouldn't their product to be subconsciously associated with sexual satisfaction?
I'm also wondering why super-targeted advertising (showing actually relevant, and deeper integrated ads for different pages/posts/videos/etc) is still not a thing, there was a movement towards it but it kind of died down, even as everyone is shouting about ML and AI everywhere.
And to be fair, most of the ads that appear near porn is extremely low quality, so they may be right.
Of course it is a self-perpetuating issue, but that doesn't mean that they can just fix it.
Found it: https://blog.eat24.com/how-to-advertise-on-a-porn-website/
But Mattel, Sony, GM, Apple, and American Airlines aren't signing up anytime soon. That's the problem for Tumblr.
I think this is just one of those instances in which a customer just starts costing you too much money. Will banning the low-rent crowd make a difference at this point? Who can say really. But keeping them pretty much ensures you will not get access to the deep pocketed advertisers.
Brands were so freaked out to have their dish detergent show up next to an ISIS video because whoever uploaded the video gets their check for $5 or whatever, and then they're literally supporting terrorism.
Advertisers in the current environment can be as picky as they want to be.
You should see what happens on and slightly off the floats.
Why shutting them down? You can't tag adult content or you can't write a SELECT...WHERE filter?
What's next, Twitter banning all bot accounts?
Another botched acquisition.
Which is just another example of why the corporate culture today is absolutely insane.
Why can there not be a site like Tumblr that is perfectly stable (leaving aside for the moment whether today's Tumblr is or could become that stable), but is not and could never be "the next Facebook" or "the next Twitter"?
...why isn't Verizon managing to sell it to someone who wants to support that, instead of effectively shutting it down? Financially it doesn't make sense to me. If free porn sites make money, I really don't see how a porn-embracing Tumblr wouldn't do the same?
Or just split the site in two automatically based on analysis of each account's contents, decide whether the "Tumblr" brand is more valuable for clean content or adult content, and sell off the adult side with or without the name. Sure splitting a site isn't technically the easiest thing, but I can't believe it wouldn't still make sense financially.
Banning this much content seems like literally burning piles of money and just destroying value. Whatever happened to stockholder value... for real? How can a board approve this, or allow it to happen? Looking it up now, MindGeek owns PornHub and so many other sites... surely it would fit perfectly in their portfolio?
especially for those of us who have certain kinks, Tumblr to this day has been the only place to ever exist where women could safely express their sexuality.
it allowed us to meet like-minded people, it allowed us to break the taboo and it ended the isolation that many of us felt.
Tumblrs main asset has always been it's community,and I'm deathly afraid this new policy will take all of this away
Some female friends of mine used to like fetlife.com. They say its like facebook, but with... fewer family members and coworkers I guess you could say.
I'm being mildly sarcastic in tone when I say this: they're probably there, you just haven't found their profiles yet ;)
Which is kind of the interesting thing about Fetlife, one can't approach someone about being on "that" site without outing themselves for being on "that" site as well-since you're not able to see any profiles without logging in (assuming a friend doesn't login and show them around and they spot your face in a profile pic commenting in a group thread or on someone's photos) where others you can't see at all unless that person has added you to their friends list-you're directed to a generic 404 page.
I run 3 obscure tumblrs myself (only one of which is sfw) and it's a damn shame to see it go. especially before there is any real viable replacement.
Long before tumblr there were the alt.sex (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alt.sex) newsgroups. There have always been dedicated sites for just about any kink since the web existed plus meta ones like fetlife.
I do think they would jump to “the new tumblr” not owned by Verizon that has its own cool culture. Both consumers and creators like building stuff up.
The next website you guys find yourselves on, you should really consider paying.
But, asking users to "get together and offer to start paying money" in exchange that's free is completely unreasonable. Tumblr didn't offer any kind of payment avenue.
I of course am more mindful of what she looks at, but she was hiding it and I can't monitor everything.
It's hard to balance my love of free speech with the responsibilities of myself, these bs Tumblr pages, and the app suggestions.
From what I've seen, Tumblr can be a very toxic place and I could understand why advertisers would have problems with the content that ends up next to their ads.
I wish them luck trying to figure out this mess.
I'm really sorry to hear this, having gone through a similar thing with a now ex-significant other.
She too became very active in the segments of tumblr you identified and others (showed me many of them, some seemed like teenage angst in blog form, others were far more...worrisome), developed an eating disorder along with severe anxiety issues, and in my attempts to remain empathetic, supportive but cautionary about the affects those groups had had on her in the last two years of a five year relationship, she abruptly called it quits on our relationship and walked away.
Citing the anxiety was too much for a relationship, to this day I can't help but look back and wonder if those groups were partly to blame given how recent her changes were leading up to us parting ways.
This wasn't a 12 year old adolescent as it was in your case, she was-up to that point-a healthy, happy 34 year old woman with a great career in the corporate world. Our relationship was healthy, we had a track record of building each other up and improving as people together. If there was something going on under the surface for these groups to infiltrate and exacerbate to the point of us breaking up, she did an amazing job suppressing it. The decline however was swift, immediate and depressing. Each time I'd try to be involved and supportive to help her out, I always got rebuffed and turned away until, well like I said she decided to just walk away from our relationship. To say I'm still stunned would be an understatement.
Good luck with your daughter, I hope what you and your family must be going through improves for the better
The only way to deal with that stuff is not to get exposed to it in the first place. Something similar happens with advertising, there too the best recipe is not to be exposed, not to think that you are strong enough to withstand it.
One way in which these groups succeed is by alienating their victims from anybody that would empower them with common sense. Parents, siblings, spouses are all pushed away with tricks honed over many encounters.
This is mostly just teens discovering fetishes and sharing them to feel better about it.
Lots of cults are like that, not all of them have money or labor as their prime motivators.
Friends. I'm 'part' of a pretty positive one (they allow thinspo but don't encourage it, no one is shamed for speaking about anything they want) and I think in the right conditions, it is actual helpful.
Many people (see thread) shame those with eating disorders and being around others can help recovery by being exposed to others with the disorder, even without having to be shamed by messages. Huge asterisk though. :)
It seems like understanding how these systems work would be a prerequisite for protecting your loved ones (or even yourself!).
See also, the Fishman affidavit and a lot of other bits and pieces of the COS internal documents that were leaked or published.
Online subcultures can’t target people because online subcultures don’t have memories, minds or goals. They are distributed patterns of behaviour, beliefs and norms, which attract people or not based more on the people than the subculture.
Brainwashing doesn’t work. The cult panic was bull. You can’t change people’s minds outside of a totalitarian society. They change their own minds.
It looks like there is ample evidence to the contrary. The fact that it doesn't work on you is great but the number of cults out there that have successfully managed to co-opt large numbers of otherwise pretty intelligent people (and let's not get started on religion) and that have managed to get these people to act against their self interest, to harm people they loved and to do things they would never ever do under normal circumstances is proof positive that brainwashing does in fact work.
To say that they 'change their own minds' is victim blaming of the very worst sort.
Groups and pressure from groups on an individual are extremely effective means to get people to conform. The need to belong is extremely strong and a very powerful button to press and all kinds of groups have abused this and other psychological levers to gain power over others.
So yes, online subcultures which consist of large number of individuals are able to influence other individuals. They have a collective memory and they act as emergent structures that have a lot more power than each individual.
Your personal experience is - unfortunately - not a very good guide for this.
If people do things mostly because they want to do them is victim blaming where is individual responsibility for anything? We are all enmeshed in society and systems of social control (but I repeat myself).
Groups and pressure from groups on people to belong may be extremely strong but the overwhelming majority of people belong only to the most anodyne inoffensive subcultures, thoroughly accepted by the host society, whether they be a religion, political persuasion, musical taste or athletic subculture. People dip their toe into a subculture and if they like it they either start paddling or jump right in. Most of them try multiple subcultures and eventually settle on a small number to continue in or none.
Online subcultures are no more, and probably less, able to influence other individuals than offline ones. They’re just more attractive because you can find the one that’s just right for you. People move to be around others like them, gay men and lesbians to Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, New York, hippies to San Francisco in the 60’s, people into dance music to Detroit or Chicago, rationalists to Berkeley and the Bay. The only way emergent structures and collective memory can have _control_ over free people is through their free choice.
My personal experience is as excellent a guide as yours. I do not see successful brain washing. I see subcultures, some deeply unhealthy, attracting people who find them congenial.
Here’s a literature review on brain washing and how it doesn’t work.
So all of this is about belonging and how to get someone to move from one camp to another.
Scientology and all the other cults out there have to live by the same sword that they die by: influence. And the fact that there are online support groups for some of these cults is a powerful anti-dote.
Some groups are simply more effective at isolating their followers from people who really have their best interest at heart.
I'll do you the courtesy of continuing the conversation on your terms, you want to call this brainwashing and if that's it then it works. If you want brain washing to refer to the CIA being able to program people then that indeed does not work. It requires constant upkeep and maintenance as well as the will of the victim to belong to some group to begin with. But once that condition is met the victims can be made to do a lot of stuff they would not otherwise do.
If you have not seen firsthand how cults can take otherwise normally functioning people and drive a wedge between them and their loved ones to see their lives taken over then I don't think your - or Gwern's - faulty conclusions count for much. It's bad enough that this happens, it is much worse to see people deny it because that essentially leaves the victims of cults without any support at all, which effectively enables the cults.
For many people - including many people who are simply religious - fear of being thrown out of the in-group is sufficient to get them to act against their own self-interest.
Quite a few religions have this practice and members have been known to kill themselves for the simple reason of being thrown out of the group they've been a part of for all of their lives simply because they are who they are. To see you dismiss this so callously because of a link to a narrowly researched article that has a conclusion that skips a few thousand years of evidence to the contrary seems a bit of a short-cut.
Take for instance Catholicism and the fear of excommunication, a powerful form of peer pressure where the people thrown out of the group are shunned.
here is another interesting view on the original subject, eating disorders and the kind of pressure they flourish under:
Not to mention the kind of pressure your typical ballet dancer is under (or fashion models for that matter).
None of these rate a mention in your finely researched link, and that is the sort of thing I was getting at before you moved the goalposts.
Isolating people from their friends and family is a tried and true method of cults (including mainstream religions) the world over. It usually starts with attacking the identity of the person and driving a wedge between them and their families or friends. Can't have that kind of interference if you're going to get away with the next stage.
That's a very practical approach. For an encore, of course it helps to start with targeting people who are already in a fairly weak position socially.
For more examples of how strangers get into your head and make you do stuff you don't actually have a self-interest in see advertising, aka applied psychology. Attack the persons self-image and presto, you can sell beauty and fashion products much more easily. Buy our shitty product and you too can be loved.
Of course in basis everybody has agency and you could if you are really strongly opinionated resist all of this. But even for the most die-hard resisters the fact is that all of this works, and works ridiculously well. The best way to stay on the right side of the line is to avoid exposure and that is getting harder and harder.
Yes, it does. What else could possibly show it doesn't work better than the fact that it doesn't work?
People who are isolated, bullied, low self-esteem, shut-ins, suffering mental illnesses, or a host of other factors can and do fall into echo chambers of radicalization and extremism. You see the results in the news every day. Of course forms of it exist, like what happened to op's daughter.
People aren’t brain washed. They make choices, sometimes shitty self destructive choices, occasionally deluded ones. But they are making choices.
Eating disorders are a complicated class of mental illness with a varying collection of co-morbid issues such as anxiety and depression. I've come to dislike the binary labeling of anorexia and bulimia because the symptomology is so much more complex than the classifications we give them.
Instead, anything like resilience is a process. Your friends and your community is part of it. Everyone is suggestible, everyone takes beliefs from associates as well as from experience. Conspiratorial and prejudiced ideas are seductive specifically because of how uncertain the world is. One has to reject such ideas in a way that avoids considering them in terms of "either this is true or this is false" since so many questions well beyond proof either way.
Conspiracy, fear, hate - they all drive engagement better than anything else. And since we all optimize for engagement, guess where things are heading. And no matter how resilient you are, there's some really dark shit out there. Ready to tear down even rather healthy people.
This to me seems like it's the key to all of this, or at least a portion of it that really shouldn't be ignored. As I shared, if my ex had other ongoing issues under the surface, they were never presented and she did a great job keeping the visible symptoms from manifesting for the better part of three years.
Maybe she didn't realize they were there herself, hard to blame anyone for that.
It doesn't seem that remarkable, contentious or incendiary of an idea to wonder if following these blogs and communities infiltrated and started poking at something that was already there, driving a curiosity to dig further, effectively picking at a scab....so to speak. And when the platform responds to your interactions, likes, reshares, searches by pushing more of that in your face, it doesn't seem any more remarkable that someone could find themselves facing mental anguish or other personal/emotional problems that wouldn't have ever otherwise seen the light of day.
While the platform, many more times than not profits from that engagement? I completely agree.
Second, if you think QAnon is relegated to only those who visit 4chan, I have very bad news for you.
What is the situation that makes these seem like a solid choice?
For a long while I was fascinated that people could get caught up in cults. It was very much not the kind of thing I would fall for. So I read a bunch of memoirs from people who had left/escaped cults and eventually it made a lot of sense to me. I would still never fall for one, but I can see how they take advantage of basic human drives and the weaknesses of their particular kind of victim.
Methinks it's because I got it out of the way early on. I definitely have had my own phases for occult, religion, conspiracies, MLM, alcohol, outrage addiction, counter cultural impulses, protests, etc.
Further, I once thought I'd get into journalism, did student radio & TV, wrote for a bit.
I think seeing how the sausage is made, learning the craft, helps one develop an immunity.
Having a contrarian reading list probably helped. For example, Robert Anton Wilson and stuff like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_the_SubGenius
Robert Anton Wilson is also good, because he presents all this stuff clearly marked as fiction.
My advice is to study the techniques, to better guard against them. This much is obvious, no?
Though illustrative, I acknowledge The Illuminati and the Subgenius stuff are not very accessible.
Thank You for Smoking https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0427944 and Network https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074958 are probably more your speed.
The issue with banning adult content, is that it often ends up being more easy to ban all adult content and LGBTQ+ content.
Generally speaking, people on the fringes lose a safe place to discuss issues that matter to them, due to keyword proximity to pornographic keywords.
If anything the kids will stop using Tumblr at a faster rate once all of the false-positives of the censorship stuff blocks basic enjoyment.
I don't know what to do about it, but even as a tech savvy free speech proponent I feel very unhappy about the content kids consume on tumblr specifically. Bullying groups on snapchat etc are just the same old bullying upgraded with a better communications platform, but tumblr offers thousands of insane cult groups run for and by kids.
1) pay no attention to the kids (got to do Netflix! Read HackerNews! Enjoy my hobbies!)
2) demand that the entire universe of everyone else revolved around their kids and those kids be protected against any possible exposure to the negative thoughts -- "Good vibes only!"
So by the time kids become semi-autonomous adults they quite literally do not know what to do when anyone or anything does not fit into reality their parents managed to construct for them.
I'm with you on the free speech thing. Early days of the internet I was much more optimistic / naive about free speech and the internet. Now, not so much. Not that I belive in government censorship, but maybe less naive about the results of free speech.
I guess it would change if I had tons of money rolling in, but just generally if I created / ran a social media site, Facebook, Reddit... whatever. I'd feel really NOT OK with a lot of the content those sites are ok with hosting.
In other words I think having some kind of anti-virus software on their computer or tablet, that logs the websites they visit, the articles they view, is totally fine.
The problem is that many parents aren't very subtle when bringing up sensitive issues, causing anxiety and determining the child to hide in the future. And I don't have a good solution for it — my son is only 8 and I'm still thinking how to tackle such problems.
On the other hand, like sysadmins who enjoy reviewing network logs to find which married executives spend their days skulking around Grindr there are a lot of parents that abuse this to become straight-up voyeurs. There's even an episode of Black Mirror about it. Regardless of your moral/religious convictions, you really don't want to discover or become party to your kids' sexual proclivities without cause.
I don't bug my kids' devices, but I did have to resolve a sexual harassment issue with my own daughter. Her behavior was starting to become worrysome-- lengthy secretive sessions on her phone, followed by signs of distress, anxiety, not eating, etc. When she didn't have access to the phone (or the battery died) it was even worse. So I black-bagged the damn thing, found out what was going on, and confronted her only on the nature of her behavior ("you haven't been eating lately"), gently guiding the questions toward what I knew to be the truth ("is someone bothering you?") and letting her do the talking.
She's none the wiser, the problem got resolved to mutual satisfaction, and I don't have to continuously violate her trust or privacy.
Not sure what you do when they realizing you're watching them and then just get sneaky about it. I remember being sneaky. I assume my kids will be sneaky.
Thinspo (thin inspiration) is positive anorexia reinforcement, like anorexic role model pictures.
Meanspo (mean inspiration) is negative anorexia reinforcement, like aphorisms demonizing fat or destructive critic.
Why are young girls so vulnerable to mental disease trends? What can we do better as a society to strengthen the resilience of kids?
Are you serious? Have you heard of qanon, anti-vax, scientology, pyrmaid schemes? We all are vulnerable to this stuff.
I think it's fair to say that kids are more vulnerable, though, for the same reason that they also get physically sick more. Immune systems develop through exposure, and they just haven't had as much exposure.
It's sometimes really hard to appreciate how much a moment in time affects the long-tail of history when you're living in it.
Thinspo was originally "thin and sporty" (Thin+Spo) and promoted a super healthy and physically fit lifestyle and positive choices.
Over time it has been co-opted by those with deeply negative body image issues, and those with anorexia fetishes.
I've just heard people saying it as 'in-SPO-ration' for so long that a -spo suffix seems more intuitively to be a truncation of -spiration.
The youtuber ContraPoints made a great video about such communities: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fD2briZ6fB0
Nothing to do with young girls in particular, nor "mental disease" in particular.
Adolescents are constantly trying to find some axis along which they can excel/stand out, in a way that gives them societal power. (They're trying to "win", without really caring what it is they're winning at. They're just aware that right now they're not winning along any axis, and that has to change.)
For women specifically, being beautiful is one thing you can "win" at that can give you power.
Now, separately, anorexia can happen to anyone—recent research has suggested it's a sort of dual to obesity, another way the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMN) can become deregulated and cease to output the correct signal in response to fluctuations in leptin levels. For obesity, that makes people eat when they're "full" (because they don't feel full); for anorexia and bulemia, that makes people not-eat when they're "hungry" (because they don't feel hungry, and do feel disgusted/nauseous at the idea of eating more just like someone who's already stuffed full would.)
Like obesity, anorexia isn't necessarily genetic, but rather seems to be a disordered "state" that the brain can get into, which means that it potentially has environmental "triggers", even if it's purely a neurohormonal problem from that point forward. Some scientists hypothesize obesity as being the result of "re-training" your brain by forcibly exceeding your calorie budget. Anorexia is hypothesized similarly: "re-training" by forcibly starving yourself.
So: take teenage girls who want to "cultivate beauty" in order to gain social power. Some of them think they need to be thinner in order to be more beautiful. At this point, they're okay. After dieting, some are still okay. For others—perhaps the ones who saw the largest gains in social power from their loss of weight—something in their brain breaks a bit, and now they can't eat regular amounts of food any more without feeling sick.
Note that that could have happened to anyone, at any time, who decided to go on a diet. We don't understand exactly what makes people more "vulnerable" to anorexia, but adolescents aren't especially vulnerable. Teenage girls are just more likely to be people who are trying to diet for the first time, and therefore are more likely to be triggering and exposing an underlying vulnerability to anorexia for the first time—which we end up describing as "developing" anorexia.
Compare also: the guys who obsessively lift weights to gain muscle mass—because "cultivating your physique" is social power for teenage/college-aged boys—but then, once they start, their "unfitness" becomes a self-image problem, and they can never be happy with how they look, no matter how "ripped" they get.
Compare also: the development of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. People find that "cultivating a charismatic public image" gives them social power, but then become unable to stop optimizing their public image, even to the point that they habitually lie to their loved ones to present every action in the best possible light.
I feel like there's some unifying neurological principle to how these disorders develop, though I've never heard one suggested.
In some countries there has been a huge fall in the suicide rate for women. It seems to be correlated with increasing opportunity and independence.
all kids are vulnerable. maybe girls are more sheltered? and..
> "What can we do better as a society to strengthen the resilience of kids?"
stop sheltering them, let them fail.
i am still a little pissed at pink floyd. i get what they are railing against, but yes, yes I do need an education. i nearly took that too literally when i was a kid.
Loads of teen boys are sucked into toxic online cults too including neo-Naziism, extreme misogyny, other kinds of toxic political radicalism, gaming addiction, self-help cults, etc.
No, because it would be something else than critical thinking. It's like the scientific method, where you can't dismiss any possibility, unlikely as it be, but pursue the most likely explanations first.
Conspiracy theories bizarrely pursue the least likely explanation. Granted, this explanation might be real, but until new data arrives (Assange, Snowden, Manning, etc.) it can't outweigh the simpler ones.
I was able to find stats on violent crime by youth (mostly boys), and unlike self harm by girls, the rates of serious violent crime have been trending down for years.
In any case, there is a clear gendered difference in the average behavior of girls and boys.
There are lots of online cults though, not just on the chans. Tumblr is particularly bad. Lots of little Borg minds looking to assimilate young novelty.
I had a 14 yo cousin who started subscribing to /r/incels and a 'pol' attitude and is simply incapable of being a decent human being. All it takes is group-think and idealogy. People will fall into it, and teens are especially targetable.
You two will get through it. Teens have a lot more change to go through.
I'm now in my early 20's, but when I was a kid about your daughter's age I also stumbled into that awful, awful corner of the web and developed an eating disorder (ED).
As an adult now, my message is it can and will get better. ED is a tough problem, but with work and persistence both she and you can work through it.
I won't tell you how to raise your daughter, at all. Just offering a sympathetic viewpoint!
And "contrasting viewpoints" mean little when they're sheer lunacy.
The example that screams out to me reading this cmoment is Reddit and it's ability to sort comments and threads by "controversial".
What I am against is machines feeding you more of what you just looked at. That's dangerous. It's too easy to end up VERY deep down dangerous rabbit holes. You should have to use critical thinking to explore your interests, not just get fed whatever will drive engagement.
This brings my morning routine to mind, which I explicitly designed to combat this feed poisoning that everyone is enduring. I literally hit the wikipedia random button every morning before I get out of bed. It's hooked into my morning alarm. I don't check feeds in the morning because I want to let my mind explore without someone influencing my focus, which helps me be more creative later in the day.
But nowd you get that fed straight to you on sites/blog-platforms targeting children. All with huge real-time support groups that will help you not to eat. It's the $90/session personal trainers but available 24/7 and without any knowledge of side-effects and with a huge amount of denial.
Simply being exposed to the existence of behavior doesn't cause a disorder.
She would've developed those behaviors regardless, maybe not to the same degree but you can't 'catch' or 'develop' anorexia nervosa (or any other mental illness) from viewing media. You can absolutely make it way worse, but the seed has to have already been planted.
There are biological and mental predipositions to eating disorders. If people could will themselves to have eating disorders, everyone would have eating disorders. It's a really terrible disease and blaming 'the Internet' papers over the deeper reasons she developed the disorder (pressure to reach high standards, little control, hopelessness, etc)
We limit device time and I try to be as involved as I can, we ask them what they're doing, we try to play games with them, etc. Every day. We keep repeating the mantra about not talking to strangers online, and to tell us if they talk to you. Honestly, I think it's other stuff that will make the difference, spending time with them every day, talking to them about everything, and encouraging active participation in real world stuff like sports and some volunteer work for the homeless through our church.
I don't disagree with the "no internet" idea exactly but at some point they'll be exposed to it and the way things are, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if a smartphone was required equipment for junior high or highschool within the next 5-10 years. Already our schools send us just about everything online, we have regular emails with the teachers and they use google docs and other platforms for online sharing within the school.
That they're going to be more mature when that happens because they've demonstrated that they weren't ready just yet.
My observation is that what I can only call information operations on Tumblr are very similar in form to various groups retweeting divisive political memes on Twitter or other social media. Most likely it has been freelance individuals with some sort of sexual fetish, not an organization, but still. It's not normal user behavior to be constantly re-posting and mashing up memes all day long every day encouraging pre-teen girls to be anorexic.
I'm sure it's no different on any other platform, so I hope this comment isn't seen as some way to skewer tumblr for being unique in this regard: but the number of times I've stumbled across content spreading some nugget of content about a health-condition, mental state of being or current event that is OBJECTIVELY untrue getting eager reshares and comments applauding the original poster that would cause any trained professional to expire from the horror is staggering to behold sometimes.
Again, not unique to tumblr, not here to suggest it is, but since it's the focus of the conversation we're having, there it is.
Already I've seen people I follow talking about leaving the platform because of this decision, which is going to hurt my own blog as I rely on them to discover new and interesting content (not porn, but I'm a big fan of futurist artwork, giant robots, Ralph McQuarie style space paintings, stuff like that).
This doesn't seem specific to tumblr though. I can't think of a network that doesn't have the same dark corners and nasty reinforcement. It's the internet.
The internet is a bunch of channels (websites) with subchannels (groups). Sometimes channels that have earned far too much legitimacy overflow into illegitimate corners. And that is a problem. It is like CNN with great content and then having crappy content. How do you start ranking sites then? How do you as a website evaluator start white-listing domains then?
I know you are defending free speech while encouraging selective roaming. But that is not an easy act. Some have difficulty while others do not. Some can moderate themselves while others cannot. Restriction + Avoidance is better than Exposure + Ignorance towards these harmful things.
Is there something unique to tumblr that makes this content thrive there? If tumblr cleans their stuff up (and I know there are legitimate stuff that is impacted by that) won't those communities find refuge elsewhere? There are some incredibly seedy parts of reddit and sites like voat and just tons of places where there is "bad stuff" on the internet.
Good luck with that. Advertisers figured out they could pound those to a pulp, and they were not wrong.
Any sane man of a couple centuries ago is now a leper by modern standards. They don't have us walking on our hands because ... I don't know, perhaps there's no money in it or that did not yet occur to them.
Why is that? Because all that happens in the privacy of your own computer. Usually any newspaper that publicly have printed such bullshit in their pages will be dead. Public will react to it.
What is different? Facebook, YouTube, etc. are personalized. You are shown what you are interested in without public accountability. Niche radical content gets a lot of views for its own controversial nature. Views and money.
Who wants to investigate, hire good writers and expend the money that it takes to write a good article when you can hire some one without ethics for a fraction of the price and get as many or more views as radicalization grows?
YouTube, Facebook and others say that they are not responsible of the content they offer. I think that it should be true for things like comments. But for the monetized content they are 100% responsible of incentivizing that radicalization and killing good journalism in the process. "
Tech (apps) companies cannot solve so much problems as they think. But, they can solve the problems that they have created.
As for good journalism it either committed suicide or was killed off by management depending on perspective - either way it was quite a while ago. The actual newspaper conglomerated were doing the same damn thing before there was a Google - just look up a list of old moral panics. Look up Grunge slang hoax - they didn't even call a guy in Seattle to ask if they ever heard anything like the joke article to be sure it wasn't somebody taking the piss - and it was.
Even in a less egregious example than the OP, take modern English for example. If search engines loosely relate English words to some moving abstract concepts, humans no longer have direct control over the colloquial. In a world that defines terms with Google Search, the implications can be disturbing.For example ::
Search: "the beatles are an antiquated band"
-- Results -> "Beatlemania in 1964: 'This has gotten entirely out of control' ...", "Quincy Jones: 'The Beatles were the worst musicians in the world ...", etc.
And: "the beatles are an obsolete band"
-- Results -> "We'll Never See a Band as Big as The Beatles Again — Here's Why - Mic", "Is the notion of a rock band obsolete? - Quora", etc.
__note:__ these results come from a computer with little google finger printing.
-- Obsolete :: "no longer in general use; fallen into disuse:"
-- Antiquated :: "continued from, resembling, or adhering to the past; old-fashioned:"
-- Antiquated :: "no longer used; obsolete or obsolescent: "
Why are these almost synonymous, benign words related to love of and hate of? I honestly fear for what could be unethical software engineering  in these critical resources. Thermal run away of hardware is taken very seriously--see the Samsung Note 7 battery fires.
: In a circuit, current through a resistor causes heat generation. Increasing heat on a resistor also lowers its resistance. Lowering resistance can increase current (V = IR). Ad infinitum or until catastrophic failure.
: definitions from Dictionary.com on 12/2018
As a thought exercise, try replacing "current" with "negative emotions", "resistor" with "mind".
The internet an interconnected web of information, used by both children and adults.
It can be more friendly for children when large platform "police themselves", but those efforts will naturally paint with very broad strokes.
I suspect the best strides here will be made by parental restrictions, so that the choices can be more individual and appropriate. (That's no panacea either of course; I'm merely suggesting it is the most promising solution.)
i think websites/pages, like for example movies, should have age restriction in their metadata.
>love of free speech
as we know children arent capable to give an informed consent and thus free speech (the same way like any issue requiring informed consent like freedom of entering into contract for example or submitting to medical procedure) just isnt applicable when it comes to children as they cant make that free informed choice themselves.
A few friends and I had an idea for voluntary rating back in '97, not long after the CDA of 1996 ("Black Ribbon") debacle.
To be fair, while when we envisioned it, it was something more facetious to get a laugh, but thinking retrospectively about it 21 years later actually made (and still makes) a hell of a lot of sense (now) as the father of a young boy.
If you tightened the settings in Internet Explorer it would only allow you to access sites with P3P data - which was pretty much _nothing_ on the internet.
locked in system
Chrome books cost less than a PS4. You aren’t going to solve this by locking down the client side. Not at school. Not in the home. Not even in federal prison.
You are out of your depth.
Are you arguing that free speech must be abandoned, just in case children happen to be listening?
You actually didn't say that, you just said free speech isn't applicable when it comes to children, and left us guessing about how you might want that to be implemented :).
I'm glad you're not advocating for the end of free speech, however.
note: Censorship above is in the sense of making content decisions for capable adults. Children isnt capable adults.
The content you're describing is not affected by this Tumblr policy change. Secondly, the content that you're describing is pervasive across all social media networks (Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, and so forth).
I'm sorry for your daughter's health struggles, and I wish her (and you) well, but it's a completely separate topic from today's announcement.
Also really dangerrous and really weird content like that you've described is not going to be affected by the new policy, all it bans are genitals and nipples which actually make nearly as much sense to hide as ears and fingers, people have imagined particular body parts are some kind worse than others and made this a part of the culture but it's not real and just seeing particular body parts can not actually harm a psyche of a healthy human in whatever an age (although I don't insist actual sexual acts can't).
Unless... unless it's pro-ana furry porn.
It's all moved to deviantart and FA now mostly anyway, but there is historical stuff only on tumblr.