Fandom. The unknown dark entity. It is one of the most mysterious places since Bermuda Triangle or even the inside of Monica Geller’s Cleaning supply closet. For this fandom to operate and ‘Squee’ about their shows and OTPs (One True Pairings) Tumblr was the place to go. Teen girls have grown up into young adults while continuing to use Tumblr as their go to site for their creative and fandom related posts. So, you can guess the shock and surprise when, last weekend they received an email from the Tumblr staff claiming they had reblogged a post on their timeline from a Russian Propaganda Page!
Tumblr: Spring Cleaning When Winter is Here!
Supposedly, Tumblr went on a spring cleaning spree as news about Facebook’s involvement in the massive data leak was just trickling in. Over the weekend, it quietly emailed its users that they had zeroed down on 84 users that were IRA (Internet Research Agency) backed. There have been claims of it being in cahoots with those involved in the Russian Pro-Trump Propaganda Pages. What it means is they were the one who would create ‘Fake News’ and ‘Alternative Facts’ about the Democrats and spread them across various social media portals.
To think that the Russians studied American habits so well, that they could create content out of it, is astounding. To top it all, it also makes one wonder why, one of the biggest democratic countries election process could so easily be swayed with social media posts?
In its email, the Tumblr staff pointed out the steps it had undertaken to notify its users who may have seen and reblogged content from one of these accounts:
- Emailing any users that liked, reblogged, replied to or followed any of the IRA-linked accounts.
- They maintained a public record of usernames linked to the IRA and other state-sponsored disinformation campaigns.
- They did not automatically delete reblog chains containing content from these accounts, explaining, “We’re letting you decide because the reblog chains contain posts created by real Tumblr users, often challenging or debunking the false and incendiary claims in the IRA-linked original post. Removing those authentic posts without your consent would encroach on your free speech—and there have been enough disruptions to our conversations as it is.”
Included in the email from the Staff at Tumblr was a detailed list of the user names that were banned by them.
- 4mysquad previously known as: thomascestevez
- aaddictedtoblackk previously known as: kathyzunigaoverhere, soaddictedtoblackk
- bastardpigeon previously known as: pigeonbastard
- bellaxiao previously known as: blogmadworldlove
- bestofninegag previously known as: apolicethepolicethings
- blackness-by-your-side previously known as: black-galaxy-magic, fullyfurrymiracle, u4guy, ufo-pilot-and-his-sexy-spouse
- blacknproud previously known as: in-the-mirror-world, indiebirdsblog, no-place-for-homophobia
- cartnsncreal previously known as: feelmydragonballs
- delroyheater previously known as: delroyheater32, mastercucumber, scrumptiousluminarytimemachine, sexinstructor666, sexintructor
- destinyrush previously known as: delightfullyghostlysong
- down-to-venus previously known as: teenageflowerluminary
- fedupwithlying previously known as: badgyalforyou
- funkycodex previously known as: craftykryptonitedelusion
- gentlexnoise previously known as: slakerglitch, superblydopepatrol
- gogomrbrown previously known as: go-mrbrown, infectedv0ice, todd-la-death
- gottimechillinaround previously known as: howardhenderson
- guns4l1fe previously known as: 4lifeme, guns4lifeme, unabashedpolicerunaway
- hustleinatrap previously known as: thenaturecanpost, tumblercube
- ineverstopexploringblog previously known as: charlenefletcher
- info-mix previously known as: americanstatistics, crazypolitician, girlsagainst, illegalmom, just-stat, rochelbarr
- joycherryblossom previously known as: joyfullyhappycherryblossom
- justmarilynadventure previously known as: justmarylinthings
- kingbeardplayer previously known as: kirksgossplayer, placeofminimalthings
- massmedear previously known as: massblog021
- melanin-diary previously known as: blackjourney2justice, dontshootus, jusslittlestoner
- morningwoodz previously known as: 5cubes, bangbangempire, empireofweird, gifemprireohh, innerpicsempire, picsempire
- nadiquitegoodatit previously known as: runlovernad
- nevaehtyler previously known as: laserenita
- noteverythingiswhite previously known as: ashleyfsilver
- poligraphme previously known as: poligraphmy
- postingwhileblack previously known as: ghettablasta, heygeraldmartinjohanssen, honestinjun, nativewolveshere
- rebellloudwiththecrowd previously known as: massivelystrangetyrant
- shoutoutworldwide previously known as: blackprideworldwide, krispymentalitycowboy
- skullofjustice previously known as: naughtykermit, ryanbutlersstuff, usnationaldebt
- somestuff4ya previously known as: somestufffoya, unitedposters
- sumchckn previously known as: blondeinpolitics, blvckcommunity, classylgbthomie, hwuudoin, politixblondie
- swagintherain previously known as: blacklivesmatterusa, carzwithgirlz
- thetrippytrip previously known as: matrixpath, themostpost
- thingstolovefor previously known as: the-inner-mirror
- this-truly-brutal-world previously known as: awesomewhitepearl, free-mind-and-soul
- voteforwest2020 previously known as: mrbadasscat
Tumblr also went on to quote, “Democracy requires transparency and an informed electorate, and we take our responsibilities very seriously. We aggressively monitor Tumblr for signs of state-sponsored disinformation campaigns, and take the appropriate action when we uncover anything.”
Too Little Too Late?
We may be convinced into acknowledging the amazing work that Tumblr has accomplished by banning these pages, but, the skeptic in us, takes this discovery with a pinch of salt.
Basically, while this seems like just a tip of the iceberg, there are many ‘White Supremacy’ and ‘Fake News’ pages that have US origins that are still allowed to operate on Tumblr.
So next time think twice before you share a post on any social media application, least it be a Russian Propaganda page that spews ‘Fake News’ and ‘Alt Facts’.