So apparently, of all companies, Automattic are the ones who’ve bought Tumblr. Huh.
Automattic are, of course, the parent company of WordPress.com and the company that pretends it doesn’t own the WordPress.org version of WordPress so that it can continue to benefit from the free labor of open source contributors, a la the Standard FOSS Company Business Model. They are… probably not the worst people who could’ve bought Tumblr? They certainly don’t (or at least, historically haven’t) have quite the hardcore exploit-the-users-with-advertising revenue model of most other social media companies, so… eeeh?
Also, if it means some of the Tumblr-standard features (post queues!) get worked into the WordPress codebase… hey. I would not be complaining.
Also, re. the purchase price:
3/ Story updated: Price less than $3 million.
— Dan Primack (@danprimack) August 12, 2019
Tumblr’s original sale to Yahoo! was for $1.1 billion.
Todone: I fixed up my Dreamwidth importer so I’m now only keeping about a month’s backlog of posts there. After that, they get deleted from DW and any comments get imported back to the archive on my main blog (as currently happens with Tumblr).1
Tl;dr, if you want to comment on a post, do it wherever is best for you. But alis.me is the “permanent”/long-term archive.2
Oh no not even Rothko is safe!
Relatedly: to this day, my mother has a framed Rothko exhibition poster she stole from a wall in a random room in the Venice Guggenheim museum when she was a teenager. So I guess I’ve always subconsciously associated Rothko paintings with crime? Which is… kind of inappropriate, I guess? But really, really specific and probably not what The Algorithm is flagging for…
So to any fandom people looking for a new home in the post-Tumblr world, I’ve set up fandom.ink as a fandom-friendly and fan-run Mastodon instance.
I’m still setting up some things like the terms of service (and the all-important custom emoji), but general policies will include:
- moderation for harassing or abusive content
- allowed adult content (with content warnings in public timelines)
- no ads, tracking, or user monetization.
Like a lot of people, this morning I woke up to That Email from Tumblr:
As part of our commitment to transparency, we want you to know that we uncovered and terminated 84 accounts linked to Internet Research Agency or IRA (a group closely tied to the the Russian government) posing as members of the Tumblr community.
The IRA engages in electronic disinformation and propaganda campaigns around the world using phony social media accounts. When we uncovered these accounts, we notified law enforcement, terminated the accounts, and deleted their original posts.
The email goes on to list the names of the banned accounts, and some of them were… familiar.1 So, like a lot of people, I decided to go do some digging to see what, exactly, I may have liked/reblogged from a Russian propaganda house. The original accounts are gone, of course, but Tumblr helpfully “decided to leave up any reblog chains so that you can curate your own Tumblr to reflect your own personal views and perspectives.” Meaning recovering at least some of the more popular posts was a simple Google search away.2
Here, capped for posterity, is what I found. There are quite a lot of images here, so I’ve categorized them into their broad content areas. Note that in a handful of instances, I’ve also capped the Google result, when I felt the post text was interesting in itself and where I couldn’t easily find a reblog. In these instances, it’s the bolded Tumblr name that’s the bot, not necessarily the URL.