It is also worth adding Twitter has built a reasonable ad business and they are full of just as much porn as Tumblr. Google actually shows ads for porn and other adult services on their platform. If any of the higher ups at Verizon are reading this:
- Fire everyone involved in the NSFW filtering. Clearly this wasn't even tested.
- Fire everyone who thought NSFW material had to be purged from your platform.
There is a short window where you can reverse the decision and benefit from all of the people who were reminded Tumblr existed. After that window closes, your business is dead.
I mean, can't they see that a lot of traffic flows through tumblr via those interests? Do they not know how much of a loss of usage that this will cause? I legitimately have zero other reason to use tumblr.
Furthermore, my impression of Tumblr was that it had quite a bit of artists. Most artist-oriented platforms have policies that aim at banning the more overt commercial pornography, while allowing artistic nudity or erotica with appropriate tags (see DeviantArt, Vimeo, etc.) I was actually quite surprised that Tumblr didn't try this route at first to be honest. From what I can tell the "adult content ban" Tumblr implemented is way overly broad-based, not to mention very US-moral attitude centric (eg "female presenting nipples" is less of a big deal in many countries).
This is why I described it as a galaxy of niches. It provides a sort of discoverable obscurity that makes connecting to signal rather than noise rather easy.
It's also what makes it hard to see beyond your own niche if you don't actually own the servers.
The adult content that showed up was pretty annoying, especially on some tags that were seemingly less censored. Like, most LGBT tags were clean, but some would have a lot for whatever reason. I'd welcome the change back then (which was around acquisition time). But even then it was apparent Tumblr's odds of becoming anything other than another diary/blog graveyard weren't great.
Tumblr occasionally banning thinspo blogs was probably much more of an "attack" on the core user base. Not by numbers but in spirit.
edit: and for the record I'm not especially talking about parent's comment, not sure why i picked this one, mostly agree with it
That kind of content is usually banned/censored on most mainstream services, just letting it be will get you a non-insignificant number. I've seen people claim 3% for twitter, no clue if true or not, but few would say that about Twitter here. Too many people in tech are in the core user-base to fall for this.
 unless shut down this will be a loooong slow death no matter what happens. I still have a semi popular account on one of the dead sites of the era. Everybody knows it's dead but these communities are a bit like families, hard to completely ghost them.
They should have been running this filter for months tagging content but not revealing the decision. Auditing the results and looking at the statistics.
If the filter is being overzealous then shouldn’t the stats show that a lot of NSFW material is on the site and that it gets traffic?
So then why pull the trigger anyway? Empire building? Bureaucracy?
Hit the nail on the head with that one. Digg and Tumblr should get together and write a blog "How to lose your entire user base in 1 day."
They already did that (the goodwill portion anyway) in 2016 before selling to Verizon.
This is the part I really don't understand. Wouldn't you do a test run through their site and do some checking? You cannot claim you don't have examples available.
I hope whoever is in charge of quality just had a coup instead of being blamed for this.
OK, but where is the problem with NSFW content (which is quite different from porn) for this?
I know, I am German, where there is quite a different mentality with this respect (in my hometown I have even seen openly posted bills for a big porn exhibition in Berlin in the past and nobody (except for the churches) was upset).
I can understand that many brands do not want their ads placed next to porn. But where is the problem with other NSFW content?
Sounds like porn to me. ;-)
This isn't a new issue. Media like to be edgy, contraversy provacative. Corporate sensibilities is allergic to scandal or contraversy, especially of the "public morals" type.
(IMO they paid billions of dollars for the privilege of being the email provider for my parents.)
I think they know exactly what they bought. They are going to see if they can change Tumblr. If that succeeds, great! If not, shut it down.
I bet the price of Yahoo including Tumblr and the price of Yahoo excluding Tumblr was more or less the same number.
Does it actually cost 100s of millions to run? They don't seem to be actively developing it or really doing anything with it other than banning all its content.
When a third-party developer can make a more user-friendly and less crash-prone app than your official one, it might be worth considering that maybe your official app sucks.
What we need is for social networks to be interoperable, with open data and protocols, so that a user can up sticks, move to a different site, and take their existing data (posts, images etc) with them and keep their followers.
1. As I have argued before, see https://cabalamat.wordpress.com/2018/08/30/dont-nationalise-...
Though I could be wrong. I never fully grokked Solid last time I read about it.
Also the decentralised flood-fill model of Usenet.
OK, imagine a load of servers. Each is connected to some (not all) of the others, and they all peer messages to each other.
A -- B -- C -- D
E -- F -- H
G -- I
From B, M is sent to C and E. From E it is sent to F and G. Eventually it gets to all the servers on the network.
I envisage that each message would have a unique ID consisting of a cryptographic hash of its contents and timestamp.
I think you need to start with the impossible, define porn/nsfw.
Why is lingerie provacative and bikinis aren't? Why is nudity even a problem? Why nipples and not elbows... Ultimately, this stuff is the very definition of subjective... something that is entirely determined by perception. What is and isn't "safe for work" is constantly changing. Taboos allow dishonesty to continue.
Call it homophobia if you like, but I call the whole thing conservatism.
Personally, I think our rapidly changed attitudes about homophobia and transgenderism is closely related to sexual liberalism generally. Without online porn, gay culture could easily have stayed closeted.
Really does apply here. It's increasingly absurd to define what's sexually explicit as our society becomes increasingly liberal about our sexuality.
It was easier back when there was a very narrow definition of heterosexuality, leaving everything else to be homosexuality and/or some form of "perversion". We're basically dealing with the propagation of those attitudes forwards through time.
I'd hardly consider this "trying to be PC".
This is more about bowing down to America's backwards views on sex and nudity, most likely in order to appease advertisers and/or Apple.
Apple has nothing to do with this. Tumblr was removed from the app store specifically because of child porn; plus, if the anonymous sources are to be believed, Tumblr have been working on this for >6 months, predating the app store snafu.
I don't understand this statement. Tumblr's user base, at least the portion who disagree with the site operators on this, are usually the ones accused of being “politically correct”?
It's as dumb a move as you can possibly make; I don't know what the decisionmakers behind were smoking, but it must have been something strong.
However lately, those on one side of the political spectrum in America have co-opted it to paint the other side as overly sensitive/weak etc. muddying it's original intent, often using "concern trolling" to rile up debate.
Examples: Sexual harassment, blackface
If 90% of the training dataset is nsfw, and you train a classifier naively on that dataset, and your test and validation data is 90% nsfw, then 90% accuracy is very easy.
One of the things I’ve been saying repeatedly is that companies are going to implement machine learning incorrectly, and there will be obvious failures and blow ups, but the most dangerous and catastrophic failures will be a cascade of things that look like they work correctly. In this case, Tumblr implemented something that was blatantly obviously broken. That’s just pathetically poor management.
In the next 10 years, I would give high odds of least 1 company in the s&p 500 will fail due to bad machine learning implementation(s.)
> from an established enterprise tech company
depends a lot on what the user was into posting.
I'm also seeing quite a few more people operating on multiple sites at once now, even SFW blogs. So they'll post Tumblr, Pillowfort, and Wordpress at the same time so their former users can still see them.
BTW the neovittorian movement against sex in general (disguised in many form to health things, anti-pornography for pedagogic things, anti-prostitution because of racket, ...) it's a clear sign of our degradation as society.
You're taking the analogy in the wrong direction. The point is that the person who is trying to stop eating is obsessed with food, not that "people who eat three times a day are never obsessed with food". The point is that sex is a part of life, and trying to stifle pornography and prostitution is as misguided and counterproductive as trying to stop eating.
> Prostitution and pornography are also markers for human trafficking.
And why is that? Because it's illegal and unregulated. You're accidentally making a circular argument here: it's illegal, therefore the actors in the industry tend to be Bad People, so they contribute to the degradation of society, therefore it should be illegal? Look at Prohibition, or the legalization of marijuana in the US. It's not the thing itself that leads to degradation, it's the unwillingness to be mature about it.
I think that's where the breakdown is occurring here: this is ultimately a values-based judgment. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that, but I think both sides of this debate would do well to recognize that this will ultimately come down to one's own personal beliefs on the subject matter.
Put more explicitly: there are those who will consider pornography and prostitution immoral regardless of the specifics, and there are those who have no issues with it assuming it's regulated (and such regulations are strictly enforced/policed) so that only informed, consenting adults can take part. Convincing either of these individuals of the other's position is likely futile.
You also need to leave out your personal opinions about sex when it comes to this discussion. I noticed that you previously mentioned that one of the reasons women turn to pornography is because they are "out of options". That's not your decision to make. If an adult makes a personal choice to turn to pornography, it's not your place to go "but that's unsavory to me, let me protect you by making that profession illegal". You're imposing your own negative views of sex on everyone else. If you think participating in pornography is inherently degrading, you don't have to do it!
One could argue that
Homosexuality is a genocide against the whole species, and marriage is degrading to the person made a slave to their own home.
The point is that sexuality is a natural part of our life so IMO we have to free is as much as we can instead of trying the classic Victorian style. The same is for alcohol, drugs (both legal and illegal), ...
Only switching from a somewhat sexual repressed country like Italy to more free countries like Sweden before, French now I see a big improvement in mean people satisfactions and awareness, Italian's watch far more porn and goes far more with prostitutes than Frenches or Swedish, just as an example.
I see child being different in more free countries than in others, for instance in Italy and UK I see children that are in medium like earthquakes, in Sweden and French they are far more calm again in medium but in Italy and UK parent's "watch and supervise" far more their children than Sweden or France.
long story short, use education, culture, not stick nor carrots to build a better world.
"Prostitution is a sign of the degradation of society" is a claim that requires evidence. I'm happy to hear whatever evidence you have. "Lots of other people think so" is not evidence.
Given that prostitution has existed in pretty much every historical culture we've been able to study, I'd like to know when and where the society that they all degraded from can be found.
(Incidentally, there's plenty of historical pornography as well, dating back at least to Rome IIRC, although of course it didn't really blow up until photographic reproduction became cheap and easy.)
Migrant labor is not a sign of degradation either, but it leads to many to disrespect others in increasing fashions, where men are more likely to abuse their power over others.
That's irrelevant to the claim "prostitution is a sign of the degradation of society."
I'll assume every morality is invalid. Instead base ones intent on the harms their actions cause.
Assessment of harms depends on a value system; you can't escape the need to choose a morality.
When your choice of morality affects more then a few close people, it is by definition unjust.
If you got a good filtering method you can either optimize for a false positive rate or a false negative rate. Let's compare it to a simple spam filter (because if you look at it objectively that's all it is) would you rather have spam in your inbox or loose mails to your spam filter? Spam filter (normally) prioritize a high false negative so you have less spam, but don't loose content. Having a filter that obviously has a high false positive rate is just bad for the content creators (on which tumblr depends)
This is kind of an inherent problem with automated moderation tools. And not new to Tumblr either, there is some sort of mysterious spam filter applied to the ask system that results in a lot of legitimate messages not being sent that people have complained about for ages.
And maybe my dash is not a representative sample but there really does seem to be a huge number of misclassified posts.
multiply it by LOTS of images you are going to get LOTS of images being misclassified and lots of complaints/mockery.
Also context, Tumblr users are being censored in ways they weren't previously and the censor is an error prone machine. This isn't the same thing as implementing nsfw filters to Google search.
What concerns is this: Well and good that Apple says "we don't host pornographic communities on our app store" and Oath immediately sacrificed the lamb to appease Apple. How is this a problem after so long? What if I told an Apple executive the exact same content manifests in Twitter and Reddit?
Evidently the app stores have no interest in hosting NSFW artists and the open web should step up.
I'm not questioning whether Tumblr's decision is fair, or morally right or wrong. I just don't see how Tumblr was generating enough revenue to cover their costs to begin with. Is image hosting really that cheap?
We will see if their revenue and profit go up or down. Then we'll know if it's the right decision or not.
They abandoned their userbase and are attempting to bootstrap up into a gentrified facebook clone with new emphasis on personal identity (ie, having people post to their user profile pages instead of subreddits, and the implementation of commercial ad "personal" profiles like u/washingtonpost).
And luckily for them in 2016 a partisan political issue finally provided motivation for people to leave Facebook for other sites. This explains your observations about number of subs.
Conversely, you business can shrink and profits can go up if you make more money per user. This thread was only about users.
Tumblr/Twitter/Facebook/etc are going to die the same way malls do. One decade they're a big deal, the next people's slow shift in preferences make them irrelevant. At least they won't leave rotting husks this time.
I think the big difference there is that there are game changing advantages to end users being able to send email anywhere and to access all of the web rather than what was essentially one web site.
Federating Tumblr (and Twitter with Mastodon) seems like a lateral move at best. The worst case is that it makes it harder to use and so it might even be a step backwards.
Sounds oddly familiar.
After seeing around what topics the author revolves the overall tone of this "journalism" example is not surprising.
I did back-up my tumblr, I'm waiting for reliable platform to emerge where I could post cat pictures, funny and not always politically correct images and whatever else.
edit: Found it. I'm not the only one who wondered if this was the case! New comment in that thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18601287
edit: Image of other examples in case you don't want to actually go to tumblr's website.
I don't believe that the fact that they've restricted a pretty small set of porn-related keywords suggests that furniture is more likely to be caught by tumblrs filters than nazi content, which is the claim the article appears to make.
I am actually surprised porn is a big thing they are known for, considering their platform is aimed at kids/adolescents?
Is she deliberately accusing tumblr of punishing everyone but nazis? Why is that not the headline then?