One of the great things about Tumblr is that people use it for just about every conceivable kind of expression. People being people, though, that means that Tumblr sometimes gets used for things that are just wrong. We are deeply committed to supporting and defending our users’ freedom of speech, but we do draw some limits. As a company, we’ve decided that some specific kinds of content aren’t welcome on Tumblr. For example, we prohibit spam and identity theft.
Our Content Policy has not, until now, prohibited blogs that actively promote self-harm. These typically take the form of blogs that glorify or promote anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders; self-mutilation; or suicide. These are messages and points of view that we strongly oppose, and don’t want to be hosting. The question for us has been whether it’s better to (a) prohibit them, as a statement against the very ideas of self-harm that they are advancing, or (b) permit them to stay up, accompanied by a public service warning that directs readers to helplines run by organizations like the National Eating Disorders Association.
We are planning to post a new, revised Content Policy in the very near future, and we’d like to ask for input from the Tumblr community on this issue.
Here’s what we think the right answer is:
1. Implement a new policy against pro-self-harm blogs. Here’s draft language we are planning to add to our Content Policy:
Active Promotion of Self-Harm. Don’t post content that actively promotes or glorifies self-injury or self-harm. This includes content that urges or encourages readers to cut or mutilate themselves; embrace anorexia, bulimia, or other eating disorders; or commit suicide rather than, e.g., seek counseling or treatment for depression or other disorders. Online dialogue about these acts and conditions is incredibly important; this prohibition is intended to reach only those blogs that cross the line into active promotion or glorification. For example, joking that you need to starve yourself after Thanksgiving or that you wanted to kill yourself after a humiliating date is fine, but recommending techniques for self-starvation or self-mutilation is not.
We aim to begin implementing this policy next week. Of course, we will allow any affected blogs a grace period in which to edit or download your content.
2. Start showing PSAs on search results for related keywords. In addition, we plan to start posting “public service announcement”-style language whenever users search for tags that typically go along with pro-self-harm blogs. For example, when a user searches for tags like “anorexia”, “anorexic”, “bulimia”, “bulimic”, “thinspiration”, “thinspo”, “proana”, “purge”, “purging”, etc., we would show PSA language like:
Eating disorders can cause serious health problems, and at their most severe can even be life-threatening. Please contact the [resource organization] at [helpline number] or [website].
So that’s our plan. We’d like your feedback. If you have any comments or suggestions, please email them to email@example.com.
The Shorty Awards, honoring the top content producers on the social web, are once again presenting the 2nd annual Tumblr of the Year Shorty Award. The winner will be honored at their ceremony in March in NYC. This year the Shorty’s are also honoring the best Tumblr Brand Presence.
Last year the ceremony was hosted by The Daily Show’s Aasif Mandvi, and past winners include Conan O’Brien, Cory Booker, Sesame Street’s Grover, Suze Orman, Ted Leo, Neil Patrick Harris and NASA. You could be next!
For several hours this evening, an issue resulting from a software upgrade caused the Dashboard to be slow or unresponsive for many users. While your blogs were not directly affected, we know that incidents like this are inexcusable.
We’re incredibly sorry and appreciate your patience with us tonight.
Tumblr gives you complete control over all aspects of your blog, and once you know some HTML, you can make them look pretty much any way you want! On the other hand, many of us would rather benefit from the skills of the thousands of brilliant designers whose work is featured in the Tumblr Theme Garden.
The top themes of 2011 were…
Binaural recording is a method of recording sound that uses two microphones to create a 3-D stereo sound sensation of actually being in the room with the performers or instruments. This effect is often created using a technique known as “Dummy head recording”, wherein a mannequin head is outfitted with a microphone in each ear.
QSound Labs is an audio technology company based in Calgary, Canada. Back in 1996, they created a binaural audio demo entitled Virtual Barber Shop for a client.
July 14th, 2011, marked the debut of our upgraded Photosets feature. Within minutes, the Tumblr community was using it in ways we never imagined. Here are five of our favorite creative Photosets from 2011.
Blogs hosted on custom domains just suffered an outage lasting 1.5 hours. The culprit was a badly configured network device operated by one of our service providers, making the issue difficult for our engineers to resolve quickly.
Our custom domain infrastructure is unfortunately a holdover from the architecture we established more than four years ago. Its state-of-the-art replacement has been prepped and tested over the last few months and we’re expecting to migrate this week.
We’ll have more information shortly. Please accept our deepest apologies.
This weekend, we hosted a meeting at Tumblr HQ with top technology companies, politicians and advocacy groups to coordinate our effort to reform or prevent the well-intentioned but deeply flawed Stop Online Piracy Act from becoming law. You guys have already made a huge impact in Washington, but the legislation still poses a threat.
This week is crucial for action as the bill may be finalized and put to a vote by Friday. We’ll be making a serious push this week to make sure Congress hears our concerns.
We’ll keep you updated on how you can join in the effort. Please stay tuned!