WordPress was a thing, ten years ago when I started my blog. But I chose Tumblr because it was easy and I liked the built-in community that came with it, a context for my content as I posted it.
I also was more prone to post just a photo, or to share some content I liked – song, video, site or someone else’s media. In more recent times though, I’ve preferred to post my own content and most of it written. I’ve disengaged with the community there as my dashboard became too busy to keep up with – in a very Twitter-like fashion.
Since the change in my content posting habits, WordPress became the more obvious platform for my blog, but I just didn’t want to go through the motions of moving. I also felt quite loyal to Tumblr through “thick and thin” shall we say, as it’s been a tumultuous time for the site since their acquisition.
I made friends through Tumblr, we had an Auckland meet-up (which arguably was just a bunch of us web-industry folk plus a few), I discovered some really great creators and bought their stuff. People even read my stuff, and talked to me about it!
Clearly, my content isn’t porn. But Tumblr’s announcement yesterday that they plan to become a “better, more positive Tumblr” basically through censorship just doesn’t ring true for me. This article from EFF, “Dear Tumblr: Banning “Adult Content” Won’t Make Your Site Better But It Will Harm Sex-Positive Communities” does an excellent job of explaining why.
Even though I no longer engage with the community on Tumblr anyway, and my own content won’t be affected, I’m particularly concerned by the erasure of positive content and particularly of Queer content. It’s early days for the policy and it’s algorithm, but the fact that rainbow content is flagged at all is sufficient to have made me uncomfortable enough to want to stand by my values and move house.
Are you actually fucking serious??? Tumblr things that my innocent queer aesthetics are nsfw????? Literally why????? There’s not even any female presenting nipples!!! pic.twitter.com/nZfVuFT4KR— Blue 🐌 (@folie_a_blue) December 3, 2018
So things in my new home are ugly.
I’ve gone with hosted WordPress, torn some hair out over DNS reconfiguration, and my content import is inelegant AF (photos are within body content as opposed to “main image” content, so previews look pants, and many posts don’t have titles).
But I believe in a free, open, representative internet and a few hours of work to migrate away from a platform that doesn’t share these values is worth it.
So my domain is the same, and I’ll be posting henceforth into the void at antheawhittle.com. RIP Tumblr.