Updates to how we enforce our Community Guidelines on hate speech

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Tumblr wouldn’t feel like much if it were not for the passionate community filling up our dashboards. You are the reason people turn to Tumblr for a laugh or for a little human connection. You are why Tumblr feels like a home for so many. You care about this place, and you let us know when something doesn’t feel right. Many of you have called on us to further reevaluate how we deal with hate speech, particularly hate speech from Nazis or other white supremacist groups. Today we’re letting you know that we heard you, and we are taking further action.

We’ve listened to your feedback and have reassessed how we can more effectively remove hateful content from Tumblr. In our own research, and from your helpful reports, we found that much of the existing hate speech stemmed from blogs that have actually already been terminated. While their original posts were deleted upon blog termination, the content of those posts still lived on in reblogs. Those reblogs rarely contained the kind of counter-speech that serves to keep hateful rhetoric in check, so we’re changing how we deal with them.

We identified nearly a thousand blogs that were previously suspended for blatantly violating our policies against hate speech. Most of them were Nazi-related blogs. Earlier this week, we began the process of removing all reblogs stemming from the original posts on those previously suspended blogs—that’s approximately 4.47M reblogs being removed from Tumblr. 

Moving forward, we will evaluate all blogs suspended for hate speech, and consider mass reblog deletion when appropriate. 

Consulting outside experts 

We wouldn’t make a change like this without considering the impact to your freedom of expression. We do not want to silence those who are providing educational and necessary counter-arguments to hate speech. We reviewed our approach with a variety of outside groups and experts to make sure we have aligned with their recommended best practices.

There’s no silver bullet solution, AI, or algorithm that can perfectly target hate speech. That’s why we have a dedicated Trust & Safety team, and why we have an easy way for you to report any hate speech you do see.

If you see something on Tumblr that violates our Community Guidelines, please report it to our Trust & Safety team for review.


We are, and will always remain, steadfast believers in free speech. Tumblr is a place where you can be yourself and express your opinions. Hate speech is not conducive to that. When hate speech goes unchecked, it eventually silences the voices that add kindness and value to our society. That’s not the kind of Tumblr any of us want. 

Thank you for speaking up. Please continue to help us make Tumblr the place you want it to be.


>>Earlier this week, we began the process of removing all reblogs stemming from the original posts on those previously suspended blogs—that’s approximately 4.47M reblogs being removed from Tumblr.<<

So by the sound of it, if you’ve reblogged any debunkings or tangents or possibly even unrelated posts from a blog that *also* posted hate speech (by whatever standards they’re using for that), it’s getting thrown down the memory hole.

Hey guys, I wrote a Tumblr reblog once disagreeing with the idea that deleting an OP blog should delete all of its posts’ reblogs. Do you know what happened to my post? It fucking vanished [link]. It lives on because I personally ensured it.

Now is a good time to remind everyone that tumblr-utils [link] incremental backups do not delete old posts if the original gets deleted, and the Wayback Machine sure as hell does not delete them.

Hey, so, about tumblr-utils:

Last week its API key stopped working: trying to use outdated versions of tumblr-utils will now result in “HTTP Error 401: Unauthorized”. The *current* version of tumblr-utils, if I’m understanding this bug report correctly [link], works but is globally rate-limited: no more than 1,000 blogs per hour and no more than 5,000 blogs per day across all tumblr-utils users.

But there is a workaround: apply for an API key *yourself* [link], then go into the Python code and replace the API key with your own (don’t worry, you don’t need to speak Python: knowledge of plain English is enough to make it obvious which bit is the API key). I just did this and it seems to be working now. Note: you must be logged into a Tumblr account to request an API key.

(I’m going to put this in a reblog of this thread because it’s one of the most fitting threads available, given that this information really should be on Tumblr specifically (where the people most in need can see it and share it) and I swore I’d never make another Tumblr-hosted OP. (And you can see why!))


#reply via reblog #oh look an update #The Great Tumblr Apocalypse #101 Uses for Infrastructureless Computers #PSA #amnesia cw

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