This morning, several screenshots and reblogs of this post started flooding my dash (and a lot of yours too. A post in which David Karp, the founder and CEO of Tumblr, asked whether or not it was ok to say the n word whilst actually saying the n word. This post was dated 2010.
This sparked what will not be the last in a series of conversations about exactly how little this networking site and its creator care at all about People of Color and, in this instance and many others, Black people specifically. That post was old, but there have been much more recent events to add to this issue.
Namely, both Dion and Riley (among other Black and PoC bloggers I follow) have received emails from Tumblr staff which threaten to shut down their blogs for hate speech, when said ‘hate speech’ has always been in direct self-defense of anon-and-off bloggers who’ve been aggressively racist toward them, often using the same slur in Mr. Karp’s post above.
But Tumblr staff and David Karp don’t actually give a fuck about hate speech. They’ve made this perfectly clear time and time again by responding with ‘freedom of speech’ to distress calls from People of Color who are experiencing direct, abrasive, stalkerish racism from white Tumblr users, and then by threatening to shut down those same victimized bloggers for defending themselves.
And about that freedom of speech thing. Here’s a screencap of the very first section of Tumblr’s community guideline policy.
Tumblr staff knows very well that this is a private forum and that freedom of speech does not apply when that speech is defined as malicious bigotry. The staff knows that they have every right (and responsibility) to remove posts or blogs with anti-queer, anti-trans, ableist, and rasist content (especially when they directly target another blogger). However, Tumblr staff also seems to be living on a post-racial internet where racism is impossible. Unless, of course, you’re being ‘racist’ toward a white person.
So, in this toxic environment where People of Color have been continually subjected to racial slurs, hate speech, death threats, rape threats, stalking, dehumanization and dismissal-while being given no opportunity to defend themselves without further threatening from Tumblr staff itself-a number of bloggers packed up today and moved on to other sites. No blogs were deleted by Tumblr, but a few folks didn’t feel like sitting around and waiting for that to happen.
I hope to keep in touch with the people who’ve left, and I hope that these other networking sites treat them well. I hope that the founders and CEOs of those sites don’t vomit ‘freedom of speech’ in their faces and then threaten to silence them for defending themselves when and if they are subject to violent, unprovoked attacks of racial hatred. And I will do what I can when I can to watch closely what happens here, because I’ll be staying. This is where I collect.
Protect yourselves and the people you love.
Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.
The thing I don’t get, is how moving to another blog hosting site will help - like there aren’t bigots everywhere :/
Reasons why this post is bullshit:
Reason 1: You’re defending dumbthingswhitepplsay who is a vitriolic hate-filled bigot. Reserve racism does not exist - there is only racism, and Riley is one of those racists.
Reason 2: The stated purposes of tumblr does not matter - they can change at any point in time.
You agreed to this:
which you should understand by agreeing with this
This next section to the terms of service pretty much sums up the fact that tumblr as a company can do whatever the fuck it pleases:
So guess what doesn’t matter?
Tumblr staff knows very well that this is a private forum
This is a public forum. Don’t even begin to act like it’s a private place for privacy full of private spaces where people can be private.
Trust me, this is public. 4chan is more “private” than tumblr.
freedom of speech does not apply when that speech is defined as malicious bigotry
Actually it does. Legally, hate speech is freedom of speech. It changes when its threats (which I know happen, and I don’t condone and should be punished using legal means).
As far as malicious bigotry, you can’t condone it no matter what. If, on one hand, you hate bigotry, but then resort to it in “self-defense” you aren’t really against bigotry are you? You’re just against bigotry towards you.
One of my friends in real life is in the middle of this shitstorm and is being accused of the bullshit stfuconfederates and others are saying.
But guess what, if he gets banned, that’s his problem. Why? Because this is not a democracy, this is a business. If you don’t like it, don’t agree to the terms of service and leave.
I like the way you point out that Tumblr is a business but then think that you can use “law” to rebut the post as if Tumblr were a government agency or something. Tumblr is a private forum in the sense of “private sector”… it is a privately owned forum.
As it’s a privately owned forum, free speech doesn’t apply to malicious bigotry because Tumblr’s terms say it doesn’t. Tumblr is on record as choosing to not allow absolute freedom of speech in all cases in the venue they pay for, in cases of malicious bigotry. Your URL suggests you’re a libertarian so I’m sure you understand how this works.
That’s why stfuconfederates quoted the Tumblr guidelines relating to malicious bigotry. You’re quite right that they’ve reserved the right to change those terms at any time, but guess what they haven’t done? Change the terms. The founder having violated the terms or the support staff selectively ignoring and enforcing the terms doesn’t actually change the terms.
Law. Remedial Schooled.
If I have a spare moment later, I’ll Human Decency School you, too, but I’m still waking up at the moment.