An open letter to Yahoo!
(No longer valid, read this update from the Tumblr staff)
I haven’t been a Tumblr user very long. I joined… I’m not sure how long ago, maybe a year, but I never did use the site because of its poor layout. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I decided to give it another try, and this time I found enough interesting things to keep me hooked while I slowly learned to navigate the site.
The thing I love most about Tumblr is that it’s exactly what you want it to be, exactly what you make of it. You can have anything you want popping up on your dash; art, writing, silly gifs and stories, news, recipes, fun facts, and yes, porn.
Another thing I love about Tumblr isn’t so much the site itself (because frankly, the site itself is a mess). It’s the community. There’s an air of openness here, where people can be honest about themselves, who they are and what they like. It’s a place for acceptance, a place that is (usually) judgement-free. And it’s a place for sex-positivity.
That doesn’t mean we’re all lust-crazed fiends just looking to get off. It means we aren’t ashamed of sex. It means we think of sex as a good thing, a healthy thing when done properly, that most people have and enjoy. It means we don’t think it should be hidden away in the bowels of the internet, to 4chan and virus-ridden porn sites.
If the purpose of Tumblr is to create your own space, why would you limit that space by limiting our access to explicit content?
Let’s face it, you’re making a lot of Tumblr users very unhappy. We don’t like being censored. This is a place we come to blow off steam, and we don’t feel comfortable doing so when we’re shunned for being sex-positive.
So let me offer a few suggestions.
- Instead of removing NSFW content from searches, create a safe-search option that can be toggled. (Keep it enabled on the accounts of minors if you really feel that’s necessary.)
- Only force-flag a blog as NSFW or adult if the blogger fails to label their NSFW content.
- Make a “safe mode” that would work for the entire site, and would hide content tagged NSFW
- Create a built-in “blacklist” function similar to Tumblr Savior, where individual users could decide what they do and do not want to see.
I’m sure most Tumblr users would welcome these changes. They would allow us control of our space and still allow for a more kid-friendly site.
Tumblr users are unhappy. I sincerely hope you hear our pleas.