DARK MUSINGS #53 – Yahoo will castrate Tumblr
by Andrew Zar 5/20/13
There are precious few honest Internet companies who see their users as people – adults who can choose what they want to do (as long as it is legal, of course). The trend is to not do that, but instead establish a new set of morality and rules for user under some context of making the Internet “safe.” This is why, for example, FaceBook bans art by Picasso, Rembrant and Dali – and payment gateway Square bans any purchases of legal firearms or ammo - and deviantART bans logos from companies they don’t approve of. Other companies with a hard on to dominate and control users are Apple and Google.
Why? The reason boils down to a core fact: the people in control of Internet content are the advertisers. Not the users. Advertising is the game now – people are the commodity. Even though the people have the money (AND all of the valuable content to begin with), the advertisers have found a way to take the controlling position. They dominate companies trying to approach topics with free speech. And, what is most mind-blowing, is that the people agree – they will be nice little controlled Internet sheep and also pay for that privilege.
So the, very, very few Internet companies with the balls to have true ethics – to not bow to the advertisers – remains a very small set. Of the most known, I would say Twitter and Tumblr are the two largest. Each has millions of users, each promotes a hardcore free-speech mantra, and each has been very successful.
BUT, today the rumors have become true: Yahoo will purchase Tumblr. This, unfortunately, means Tumblr will succumb to the advertising gavel and thousands of adults using Tumblr will (eventually) be banned. It is 100% inevitable.
Why? Because the ONLY reason Yahoo purchased Tumblr is to “monetize” it. And to monetize means to advertise. And, advertisers will not welcome any “adult” content on Tumblr – this is how it has gone with every single other Internet company who bases their model on advertising dollars. So a great purge will occur. No idea when, but it’s coming.
Yahoo will not have the fortitude to put ethics above money – they will cave – and Tumblr will cave. It is inevitable.
And there will be many people who do not see it coming. But study the motivations – if you understand the motivation, you will understand (and anticipate) the action. (Take a read of Freakecomics – a great case study about motivations and behavior). Yahoo has zero intention of being labled an “adult” brand – there is no upside for them in supporting free speech. It is better to let the fringe (those of us who like to actually act like adults, not cattle) just move on and to monetize the masses.
So, to all my colleagues who use Tumblr for free expression – best start building your own blog. I would guess than when the ban comes, they will also purge and delete all of your content – years of it – in an instant and without notice. Just as FaceBook and deviantART has done in the past.
Till next time,
Above art is from DarkBrain.com’s series Mirror/Mirror by Dani Calero, Lya and Celestin. Copyright 2013, DarkBrain, LLC, All Rights Reserved