The Other McCain

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Verizon Sells Tumblr for Undisclosed (But Almost Certainly Rather Small) Price

Posted on | August 13, 2019 | No Comments

 

Somebody just bought the world’s worst web site:

Verizon Communications Inc. agreed to sell the blogging platform Tumblr to Automattic Inc., the latest sign the wireless giant is dismantling its online empire.
Terms of the transaction weren’t material, Verizon said, suggesting Tumblr sold for a tiny fraction of the $1.1 billion it fetched in 2013. Verizon acquired the site as part of its 2017 purchase of Yahoo.
Automattic already owns a group of publishing sites, including WordPress and Longreads, and sees Tumblr as a good fit. The Wall Street Journal previously reported on the sale, saying that Automattic would take on about 200 staffers.
For Verizon, the sale marks a further retrenchment. It has been cutting staff at its online-media division, which was previously called Oath. . . .
Verizon had originally set out to turn a patchwork of dot-com brands into a thriving online-advertising business, but the strategy never caught fire. And the carrier’s new CEO is refocusing on what the company does best: wireless service.
Last year, it wrote down the online business by $4.6 billion. That erased almost half the value of the entity, which is also home to AOL and the Huffington Post.

Five years ago, after I began writing about radical feminism, I quickly became aware of the phenomenon of SJW Tumblrinas — mentally ill young women who use Tumblr to espouse feminism, “social justice” ideology and (almost invariably) some kind of LGBTQ sexuality.

 

 

By the way, when I describe Tumbrlinas as “mentally ill,” this is not a casual insult but rather a statement of fact. Over and over, you would encounter self-described “queer” feminists on Tumblr who would state in their profile or on their “about” page that they were afflicted with some kind of psychiatric disorder — depression, anxiety, anorexia, borderline personality disorder, PTSD, etc. — and often a combination of several such mental illnesses. One could be forgiven for thinking that perhaps our nation’s mental-health institutions were now full of inmates busily updating their Tumblr blogs. Why was Tumblr this way? When I asked around, the answer I got was, “It’s too easy.”

That is to say, Tumblr is so “user-friendly” as to require almost no skill or intelligence to produce a blog, because the “reblog” function allows users to just fill up their page with content produced by other users. If you’re a depressed teenage girl who doesn’t know anything about HTML (or spelling or grammar or punctuation), and are too lazy even to use CTRL+C and CTRL+V to cut-and-paste stuff, Tumblr was the ideal platform for you to produce a blog, and the site also has a social-media function, since interaction with like-minded users was intrinsic to the platform’s operation. About two-thirds of Tumblr users were reportedly female, and the demographic skewed very young — the typical Tumblr user was in her teens or early 20s — which was why it was considered a “hot” online property in 2013, when Yahoo paid $1.1 billion for it.

Three years later, however, Yahoo was forced to declare that Tumblr was “effectively worthless” — a net drain on revenue, with no prospect of future profitability — and in 2017, Yahoo was sold to Verizon for less than 1/10th of what Microsoft had offered for Yahoo in 2008. Even then, however, Tumblr had yet to reach its nadir. In November 2018, Tumblr’s app was “removed from Apple’s App Store after child sexual abuse content had been found on the platform during a routine audit.” While hosting a lot of feminist SJW blogs, it turned out, Tumblr had also become a popular venue for pornography, including child pornography. Tumblr reacted by banning all “adult content” from the site, which caused thousands of users to quit the site, and there was even talk of Tumblr being sold to Pornhub to bring back the NSFW content. Now that Verizon has offloaded Tumblr for a price that’s probably just a bit more than nothing, we don’t what the future holds for this notorious online dumpster fire. It will probably get worse, and the 200 staffers at Tumblr would be well advised to start looking for new jobs.

(Hat-tip: @LeatherPenguin on Twitter.)



 

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