Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism, Technology > Initial Thoughts on the Upcoming and Intentional Demise of Tumblr

Initial Thoughts on the Upcoming and Intentional Demise of Tumblr

As many of you might have heard by now, Tumblr has decided to ban all “adult” content on its platform starting December 17th of this year. I am sure that all of you, on first hearing about this yesterday, must have said something along the lines of “why would anybody use Tumblr if it had no adult content”? And that is a very valid question, because most people correctly see Tumblr as a vast curated and user-updated repository of pictoral pornography. Of course, some idiots in the dying corporate media want to pretend that this will have no long-term effects on the viability of that platform or its brand. Some others see it as another example of insidious censorship (which it kinda is), Apple removing its App from their store over concerns about “child pornography” or one more unfortunate consequence of Verizon purchasing that brand some time ago.

While each of these conventional narratives about the decision contains some elements of truth, they cannot see the overall picture- much like the protagonists of that story about six blind men and an elephant. Yesterday, a couple of acquaintances on Twitter wondered if management knew that banning “adult” content from Tumblr would destroy that business and brand in very short order. After all, which sane person would like to destroy a functional business.. right? Some of you might counter this by saying that Tumblr has never made profit for its owners. But if you use that metric- neither has Gmail, Google Maps, WhatsApp, Android, Uber, Lyft, SpaceX, Tesla and most Silly Valley corporations “valued” over a billion. Over past two decades, the ability of any large american business to stay solvent has been slowly divorced from its ability to make a profit.

So how do large american corporations make any profit at all? Well.. that depends on what you define as profit, but if you use its most commonly understood definition, they do so through a number of means all of which have absolutely nothing to do with providing a good product or service. Furthermore, the only groups that all american business consistently make profit for is their upper management, lenders and financial intermediaries (often the same or related). But don’t corporations such as Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook etc make real money and profit? Sure.. they do by being either a government-favored monopoly or part of an oligopoly. And that is true for other corporations such as Ford, GM, ‘insert any large defense contractor’ right down to your local medical clinic, hospital and “health insurance provider”.

But what does any of this have to do with the apparently suicidal decision by people currently at the helm of Tumblr? As you will soon see.. a lot. Let me start by asking a somewhat rhetorical question? Why does it seem that I am running down american (and more generally, anglo-saxon) corporations? Don’t corporations in other parts of the world also make huge mistakes? Aren’t they also staffed with greedy morons? Well.. yes, USA (and the anglo-saxon world) most certainly do not have a monopoly on greedy assholes and grave-robbers. The difference lies in how the rest of system in those countries handles them. Confused? Let me explain with a simple example. Ever wondered how far a CEO who ran an OK business into the ground would be allowed to go in an east-asian country versus USA? Consider the case of somebody like Marissa Mayer.

In case you are wondering, she was the CEO of Yahoo from 2012-2017 before that brand (and its acquisitions such at Tumblr) was sold to Verizon last year. While I am not saying that she is brain-damaged, it is clear that her initial success at Google came from being at the right place at the right time. In other words, any other moderately intelligent person in her position would have also won that lottery. The rest of her “achievements” look like the type of resume-padding you see from ivy-leaguers. It also helped that she was a woman at a time when corporate boards wanted a few token women for the purposes of showing ‘diversity”. To be quite blunt, her real skills were kissing ass, being a woman in addition to acting super busy and competent. And that is how she landed her first big solo gig as the CEO of Yahoo in 2012. When she had left Yahoo in 2017 after running it (further) into the ground, she collected about 260 million.

To be fair, Yahoo had been on a steadily downward trajectory since the mid-2000s. While the simple-minded might blame the rise of Google for Yahoo’s slow implosion, the reality is vastly different. Yahoo.. you see.. was not really in competition with Google for search engine market as early as 1999. Instead, it had diversified into personalized services (such as news, sports, social media and yes.. what we today know as ‘cloud’ storage) pretty early on. But the people who ran it before her were equally incompetent and short-sighted. They did have not a unified strategy and ignored user and employee feedback about designing their platforms and services. That is why for example, they let Flickr slowly fail when they could have made into FaceBook before it even existed. I could go on about their other failures, but that would take a book.

And this is where the difference in how corporations in various countries handle incompetent leadership matters. See.. in USA (and other anglo-saxon countries) CEOs, senior board members, top management etc who make bad decisions make tons of money regardless of whether they succeed or fail in their mission- usually the later. They then go on to other still healthy corporations, do the same shit and make even more money. The rest of the system stands by (and often rewards) them as they keep on destroying more healthy corporations and tens of thousands more jobs. This is allowed to happen because the allegedly elected governments in these countries (and senior bureaucracy) are themselves on the payroll of these parasites.

In contrast to that, east-asian systems while famously tolerant of corruption and personal quirks do hold even the most senior corporate people accountable for their failures and incompetence. And while they almost never openly fire or humiliate failed corporate leaders, they do make sure that such people cannot cause more damage. That is why for example, the quality of Japanese and Korean automobiles rarely suffer more than the occasional downward hiccup. That is also why the quality and availability of many other things, from supermarkets and restaurants to medical care and affordable housing, is usually higher in East-Asian and West-European countries than USA. To reiterate- the quality of people is not better in those countries. However their governance systems are significantly better at protecting people from parasitic corporate-types.

Which brings us back to the subject of this post. Did you realize that the title contains the word ‘intentional’ in addition to upcoming. Wonder why? Well.. have you considered the possibility that the current management of Tumblr is counting on its recent “rule changes” to destroy it? But why would they do such an apparently stupid thing? Here is a hint: they can make a lot though performance bonuses if they manage to “sell” the ruins of Tumblr to some private equity firm or some other shysters for further strip-mining. Given that Tumblr is not making them a large profit right now, or in the near future, it makes more sense to destroy it such that its ruins can be later sold to another group of con-artists. There is of course the other possibility, namely that they do not care and believe in their own bullshit. Remember, these are the same self-delusional types who knew that HRC would defeat Trump in 2016. Or maybe, both possibilities are at play..

In the next post on this topic, I will talk about the effect of this decision on current Tumblr users, general availability of pictoral pornography on internet and rapidly worsening public perception of large internet monopolies and oligopolies.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. P Ray
    December 4, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    The interesting thing about Marissa Mayer,
    is that she claims to have worked at Google before in a software developer role, but has not been specific about which software or what features she worked on.
    So as usual, it is very likely she was a diversity hire, taken on to “manage” engineers.

    P.S. Apparently Google had a very sexual history, where in the early days they hired people to provide sex, and had people who got their permanent job by providing sex. Looks that unlike the blogs they shut down for being sexual the many execs in the Google workplace enjoy workplace sex.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5944399/Sex-drugs-coding-wild-early-days-Google.html
    Sex, drugs and coding: New book lifts the lid on Google’s VERY politically incorrect early days, including the ‘harems of attractive women kept by co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin’
    Charlie Ayers, the first chef at Google’s cafeteria, opened up about the company’s drug-fueled parties
    He also described the ‘harem’ of ‘hot girls’ who he said surrounded founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin
    Heather Cairns, the fourth Google employee, added that employees having sex in the office was so common that it wasn’t unusual to walk in on staff in the act
    Ayers recalled ski trips where they would host parties with ‘live bands, D.J.s, and we bought truckloads of alcohol and a bunch of pot and made ganja goo balls’
    Instead of corporate company retreats, Google staff would go to the infamous hippie festival Burning Man
    By HANNAH PARRY FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
    PUBLISHED: 02:07 GMT, 12 July 2018 | UPDATED: 07:34 GMT, 12 July 2018

    Charlie Ayers, the first chef at Google’s cafeteria, opened up about the company’s drug-fueled parties and the ‘harem’ of ‘hot girls’ who he said surrounded founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

    ‘Larry and Sergey had like this gaggle of girls who were hot, and all become like their little harem of admins, I call them the L&S Harem,’ he said in Valley of Genius – which reveals the ‘uncensored’ story of the wild west days in Silicon Valley – as told by the hackers, founders, and ‘freaks who made it boom.’

    ‘All those girls are now different heads of departments in that company, years later,’ Wow, Google is not a meritocracy, colour me shocked!


    Heather Cairns (the fourth Google employee and its first human resources manager, added that staff had concerns about Brin’s relationship with his female employees), added that sex between employees in the office was so common place that it wasn’t unusual to walk in on staff in the act.

    Former Google employee Marissa Mayer, who went onto become the CEO of Yahoo, described the brainstorming sessions where any ideas would go.

    ‘I was there the day we did the first Street View experiments,’ Mayer, who later became CEO of Yahoo, said. She said they rented a camera from Wolf Camera, hopped in a blue Volkswagen bug and ‘just started driving around Palo Alto taking a photo every 15 seconds, and then, at the end of the day, we took photo-stitching software to see if we could stitch the pictures together.’ Not much of a software developer then

  2. balu
    December 5, 2018 at 12:42 am

    Relevant and similar story is of Carly Fiorina’s, who happens to be a woman too. She drove HP, this once really important and innovative company into irrelevance in the early 2000s. Now HP is more or less Compaq plus printers. Compaq was an early forerunner of the gigs and gadget stuff of today, even after absorbing DEC, another important and innovative company of the past.

    • P Ray
      December 5, 2018 at 2:56 am

      DEC was innovative up to the point they thought their Alpha architecture was superior to the “peasant” x86 designs … until register renaming and register compatibility along with superior improvements to nodes and other architectural breakthroughs … just made the Alpha a system that “could run Windows NT”.

      They did play a key part in producing a PCI bridge chip for the legendary combo graphic cards from Videologic – the Apocalypse 5D (for the time a single card combining a great 2D card and 3D card) and 5D Sonic (like Apocalypse 5D, but also add in a sound card!)

      Other than that they were just very expensive for their time, leading to a lot of clones taking market share.

  3. mikeCA
    December 5, 2018 at 9:16 am

    I thought Tumblr always had a TOS that forbid “adult” content, but didn’t bother to enforce it.

    If you start reading TOS for many internet services carefully, you might find ones which require you to sacrifice your first-born son. The simple fact is that Tumblr did not even pretend to care for almost a decade. They only enforced their vague TOS when dealing with really extreme stuff. You have to, therefore, ask- what changed?

    There are internet activist that are on a crusade to clean up sites that do not enforce their TOS. I’m not sure if those crusaders where going after Tumblr too and this is a reaction to that. Small companies could probably ignore these crusaders, but big companies have problems doing that.

    I know what you are talking about, but this is not one of those instances.

    Right now there are some angry incels that are going after women that sell porn. They are trying to cut off their access to credit card processors, paypal and similar money transfer services to put them out of business.

    That is unfortunate but necessary, because it will raise public awareness for the need to convert many of these internet oligopolies into boring public utilities.

    • IhateTHOTS
      December 5, 2018 at 9:48 pm

      This is incorrect. Incels are NOT trying to go after sex workers and trying to get their credit card payment processors terminated etc. The real story is that sex workers, and instagram THOTS invaded every platform that men largely utilized to project their hobbies for legitimate careers: YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Patreon, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. These THOTs came along, saw the power of these platforms, and then started using each of these platforms to sell nude or sex videos of themselves to thirsty betas. They would put links of their “Paypal Cash” links on their twitter accounts, or asking the betas to pay and sign up for their Snapchat premium access profiles; and just ask thirsty betas to pay them just for the sake of existing on the internet. These chicks were then boasting how they were making six-figures from these platforms. The worst was when they invaded Twitch and pretended to like playing video games while live video streaming, and then would ask for donations for flashing their tits on the stream. None of these girls were paying a single dime to the IRS in taxes. So naturally, one Twitch male member just got pissed off on how these THOTs just invade every territory and destroy the platforms that men use for civil purposes (gamergate anyone?). So they reported these THOTs to the IRS and asked they be audited. That is all that happened.
      No male is against pornstars, sex workers, etc. What they are against is abuse of a system to make a lot of money, by leading thirsty betas on for one, and invading every platform men use in a civil manner for them to push their whorish endeavors to make a buck.

      • P Ray
        December 7, 2018 at 12:12 am

        The good thing about this is the IRS awards people who report, a good 30% of the income that was undeclared.
        The Australian government has already set a precedent, where they have declared Strippers are not sex workers.

        So with that in mind, those thots were stealing from the government … well … steal and you get caught, regardless of gender or job.

        If they were real “sex workers” incels wouldn’t have a problem getting sex. Those women are thieves.

  4. lalit
    December 5, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    CEOs who destroy the companies get huge handouts from shareholders. Most of people explaining this phenomenon seem to zone in on human stupidity or greed or some combination thereof and stop there. There is another angle to explore and I’m surprised that I do not hear more of this.

    1. As an institutional shareholder, you want immediate returns NOW. This means that you want the CEO to make a decision that will boost the stock price in the short term, period. Whether it destroys the company in the long term is of no consequence to you because by then, you’ve sold all your stock and made an obscene profit.

    2. But how to get the CEO to do this? By the Golden Parachutes you offer him when he finally exits the company. It is quite like politicians taking up consultant posts with corporations after their term of office is over.

    Basically it is a bribe! A way for institutional investors to screw over everyone else, the employees, smaller shareholders, etc

    3. The problem can largely be solved largely by two simple measures
    a. taxing capital gains much more heavily than now. Short term capital gains very heavily.
    b. Taxing dividends much less than now.

    This will promote long term thinking since the only way for you to get your investment back is via dividends over several years. So good long term decisions tend to get made, basically take the wind out of the sails of the institutional investors who always think about making a quick buck NOW. Essentially they are ConMen.

    Of course since the SEC and Congress are all basically in the pockets of these ConMen and therefore the present status quo can be expected to continue all the way to the conversion of the United States into a country with the living standards of India.

  5. MikeCA
    December 5, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    I have just read that it was Apple that forced Tumblr to do this. Apple removed the Tumblr app from the app store because of the porn on Tumblr. Tumblr I guess decided they could not survive without being in the app store. This may get them back in the app store, but I doubt they will survive anyway.

    Ahem.. do you actually believe that most Tumblr users are accessing it using the shitty mobile app? Or maybe you want to believe that. I am not sure..

    As far as Tumblr is concerned, they are finished even if they apologise and go back to square one.

    • MikeCA
      December 5, 2018 at 2:48 pm

      “Ahem.. do you actually believe that most Tumblr users are accessing it using the shitty mobile app?”

      I did not even know Tumblr had an app. I have no idea how many people used the app, but I presume that Tumblr must keep track of how many accesses come from their app and how many come from PCs.

      You are assuming that corporate executives know what they are doing or care about the corporation they run. Perhaps, that was once true.. but it hasn’t been the case for at least a couple of decades now.

  6. TrashingTumblr
    December 5, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    Also, even if this particular case mainly involves driving Tumblr into the ground so the current management can scrounge some cash, there is something similar that will be a larger issue going forward. The sex-negative/anti-porn/sexually repressive Christian Conservatives are increasing their war against sex and their war against porn.
    FOSTA/SESTA against so-called “sex trafficking” is a cover for their increasing Internet censorship. VERnoNipplesIZON ceo R.D. is an Irish Catholic Christian with self-proclaimed very Christian Values/very Traditional “Family Values” and he quotes from the Bible. Right Wing Christian Conservatives such as JeffSessions, and MikePence, are anti-porn. Utah like a Theocracy and other states are working hard to “ban porn”/limit porn as much as they can to impose their Christian beliefs onto everyone, and they label porn a so-called “Public Health Hazard” and they are passing phony “laws” so that they can restrict porn and sue porn distributors (including Internet companies for CP and “sex trafficking”). FOSTA/SESTA (that so much for the PUA/Manosphere “political savior Trump” will harm men) was ironically signed by the hypocritical Christian Right’s orange puppetTrump (who it’s believed has had sex with Prostitutes/Porn performers), and it was designed to take down sites such as Backpage saying it was for “sex trafficking” when it was really against all prostitution, and to lay the groundwork to make Internet porn as illegal as possible in the future if they have their way so that Christian Conservatives can control and regulate porn on the Internet. Rob Portman (Republican/Presbyterian, Methodist/Conservative who was anti-gay until his son was gay sponsored FOSTA/SESTA. Other supporters of that Fake Legislation include many anti-porn Christian organizations such as the “anti-porn Christian Conservative Baptist Pat Robertson of the Christian Right Christian Coalition with fellow Christian Conservative Ralph Reed” of the “Evangelical” Faith & Freedom Coalition.
    Some Conservatives want to hypocritically block porn sites so they can then charge a fee to be able to unblock them so that money goes into their Conservative anti-porn/anti-prostitution/anti-“sex trafficking” Christian organizations. In the extremists Christian war against sex/porn many Christian Conservative groups are like a Theocracy getting many states to pass resolutions declaring porn a “Public Health Hazard” such as, Utah (the Mormon’s ToddWeiler and Gov. GaryHerbert who are extremely anti-porn especially on Twitter and they have admitted a reason they are anti-porn is because they believe their being anti-porn makes guys get married, so what they should say is they are part of the Marriage Scam as marriage harms men), Arkansas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia (Robert/Bob Marshall a Catholic), Kansas, and anti-porn groups such as a Mormon anti-porn group want all 50 states to declare this by 2021, and other states with pending anti-porn resolutions are Florida, Georgia, Missouri, South Carolina, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Minnesota, Alabama. The Mormon’s in the government in Utah like a Theocracy are using taxpayer money for their Christian anti-porn organizations. Republicans are joining in calling pornography a “Public Health Crisis.”
    Porn doesn’t harm, Porn heals. Many people find that Christian Churches makes them have more harmful cortisol stress, and Porn makes them have less harmful cortisol stress, thus Porn improves their health. The majority of American guys are beta/sex-negative/Conservative, so that is part of why so many states can pass these Christianity religion imposed anti-porn resolutions.
    So much for the Taliban, Iceland wants to ban porn, India wants to ban porn, the U.K. wants to ban porn, many extremists Christians organizations want to ban porn, so maybe the aliens will show up before then so sexually neurotic Christians have a different scapegoat to blame so they can try to stay in power. Every week thousands or more children are trafficked into Christian Churches to be indoctrinated/gaslighted/abused by Pastors, molested by Priests, and millions of Christians are complicit by continuing to give millions of dollars a year to these Christian Churches. Maybe Christianity should be banned to “protect the children.” Never hear about Church addiction. A reason Christians are against prostitution and porn is because they think those make less people get married, and the scam of marriage is a way they make money and stay in control.
    Tumblr was a useful site until they Trashed Tumblr. Even with significant security concerns that were not resolved and with many problems with using the site that not only were not fixed but were allowed/made more problematic to use, Tumblr was a good concept that could have been improved, therefore Flickr and Tumblr were fun/useful before they destroyed them. After Tumblr, Twitter is next on their Taliban-esq chopping block, and especially if sexually repressive/controlling anti-porn Christian Conservatives are elected in 2020, especially similar to UtahMormonToddWeiler who wants to further attack companies like Twitter, then similar to Tumblr being destroyed now, other social media companies like Twitter will be censored by anti-porn Conservative Christians.
    However, Christians will be shocked that no matter what they do that someday like a Phoenix and Phallus porn will rise again.

    • P Ray
      December 5, 2018 at 6:43 pm

      Do the Christians have anything to say about the situation where:
      1.It is normal that regular/ugly men are urged and heckled to accept sluts and single mothers
      BUT
      2.It is NOT normal that a regular/ugly guy asks to be with a virgin, and that guy is ridiculed, shamed and/or condemned?

      It is almost as if Christianity has become a social control mechanism, with the richest, most powerful men, being able to claim the youngest and virginal women. What does Christianity have to say about that?

  7. Neo
    December 6, 2018 at 11:15 am

    I’m going to propose a different motivation.

    Across the globe, “authoritarians” are taking over, and the last thing they want are happy and contented populations. Anything which provides people pleasure is under attack, especially recreational sex.

    Many nations are very concerned that their young people aren’t pairing up and procreating. “Porn” is always the first thing they accuse of causing this. Professional sex workers are next, with hook-up and dating sites following. Sex Ed is limited to avoiding sex until you marry, and contraceptives are again being made illegal in some countries. And with Prevention being taken off the table, it’s necessary also to ban Cure. No abortions for the slut you knocked up, Stud!

    So if you have sex at all, it will be through the “normal” lifestyle of job, wife, kids, and a mortgage. And the only ones happy are the ones too powerful and connected to have to obey the rules imposed on the rest of us.

    • December 6, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      Something deep inside of my mind tells me that you are correct. I’ll be damned if I live in a world like the one you’ve just described.

      I just wrote a topic about afrocentrists and how they, like CONservative minded idiots, long for flawed civilizations that enslaved people, just to “balance society”. Even jackasses on the manosphere and the negro manosphere advocate this bullshit and try to police people’s personal choices. While it’s a losing battle, don’t be surprised if we hear more psycho-babble about return to retarded arranged marriages (slavery), people coming up with flawed research about people usually are attracted to the same features as their parents (people who have oedipus complex), etc.

      I can go on and on about the stupidity and failure of such society some idiots want so badly to go towards. Human evolution, biology, free will, psychological stability and happiness does not support any of it.

      • December 10, 2018 at 6:56 am

        Neo and Odessa are 100% correct. Anything that gives pleasure is now under attack. Most countries are turning fascist. Modi in India, Viktor Orbán and his friends, the new fascists in Europe, China is getting more and more anti-happiness tyrannical and many other nations too. Porn and sex workers will be blocked. The internet will be censored and controlled.

      • December 10, 2018 at 9:16 am

        @tomjones

        Racial purists (be it white supremacists or afrocentrists), CONservatives and certain feminists would love for that to happen. And not so much that they want to be the only ones having fun and having “first dibs”, but so they can control the actions of others and force people to keep their fragile societies intact. But good luck with that shit. Pandora’s Box has already been open and the lid has been torn open and damaged beyond repair. There’s no turning back as a whole.

        As far as China’s “attack” on “counter culture”, I plan to write my own perspective about that (they are banning people with tattoos from being shown on TV, even from their own actors, musicians Jay-Z and Bob Dylan are banned in China). The owner of HappierAbroad (Winston Wu) has written many topics about how people in China have a “slave mentality”. Even Bruce Lee said something about those lines before he was taken out…

    • December 6, 2018 at 1:08 pm

      The latter paragraph you’ve written best describes gay Republicans and conservatives who preach anti-homosexuality, but turn out to be the biggest DL closeted gays. I wrote about this also and mentioned the HBO documentary “Outrage”, which exposes this stupidity.

    • P Ray
      December 7, 2018 at 12:23 am

      Anything which provides people pleasure is under attack, especially recreational sex.
      I think women are working very hard only to provide recreational sex to a few men, which is why birth rates have dropped.

      Women can and do have the law at their beck and call, which is why so many false rape accusations exist and have come to light and there are so few cases in reverse where as an example, Avital Ronell gets accused by Nimrod Reitman

      Not only that, in the “normal” lifestyle of being married … many women have kids by the guy that is not the husband – which is why paternity testing is illegal in many countries. Explain to me again how women get oppressed by that?

  1. December 8, 2018 at 10:59 am

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