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YMMV / Tumblr

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  • Archive Binge: There are currently over 153 million blogs and over 70 billion posts on this site, and it's not just the currently active blogs. There are a ton of inactive blogs as well; good luck going through all of them. Unlike most blogging sites, which typically only output a post anywhere from once a day to every few weeks, most blogs on Tumblr produce or reblog a few hundred posts every day. Even Twitter users usually don't post that much!
  • Broken Base:
    • The Mishapocalypse of April Fool's Day, 2013. Some of the site found it funny, while the other half (probably more) either felt it got real old real fast, or was never that funny to begin with. Which is where Tumblr blacklisting via unofficial extensions came in very handy.
      • Other fandoms trying to have a -pocalyapse of their own split it even more.
    • Yahoo buying Tumblr...though it was mainly exacerbated by many false rumours about Yahoo deleting fandom blogs, removing features, getting rid of all of the sexual content and/or shutting the site down completely.
    • When Grey DeLisle created a Tumblr blog, a Broken Base fairly quickly erupted between those who found her funny, and those who found her obnoxious. And then there's the people who liked her blog when she mostly posted voice acting stuff (her Azula audio posts were especially popular), but started disliking her when her humor became less politically correct.
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    • Social Justice Blogs, the memetic reputation of these blogs surprisingly only consists of a Vocal Minority. Still, for non-regulars, they are the biggest Acceptable Targets on the site. Whether or not they deserve the level of mockery they have received has been highly debated, even on this site.
      • Within the social justice circle, there will be a fight between bloggers who lean more towards a certain issue. It's not uncommon to see black SJWs fight with gay SJWs over homophobia in rap, or black SJWs proclaim that Asian pop steals from black culture and angering Asian SJWs in return, and black SJWs fighting amongst each other about how offensive the newest black comedian is, et cetera, et cetera. Even within the LGBTQ circle of bloggers, there are debates over whether or not cis members of the community should have as much as a voice due to the issue of trans* erasure, and you'll see radical feminists fight with transgender bloggers, with the radical feminists accusing transgender people of crudely pretending to be female or abandoning their femininity. Feminism in general tends to be a minefield, as well, when bloggers aren't being harassed by angry MR As and trolls.
      • WOC feminists versus white feminists, though the hate is usually one-sided. WOC feminists hate white feminists for considering themselves separate from white male oppressors, citing racist feminists during the first wave of the feminism movement, while white feminists ally with POCs more than white people on issues of race, considering intersectionality to be important.
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    • The practice of sharing art on Tumblr, particularly art from Pixiv and especially without express permission. Some argue that as long as credit and source are attached, that it's perfectly acceptable and that material published on the Internet will make the rounds no matter what. Others feel that it's very disrespectful to the artist, who may not want their art appearing in places used by people who may not necessarily speak the artist's language(s); the fact that art is known to be reposted without credit or outright plagiarized certainly doesn't help. Although this entire art-sharing debate has existed as long as fanart has existed (the Online Fanarts Protection page has been around as early as 2006, before Tumblr was even launched), it is especially prevelant on Tumblr, which has a posting mode tailored to posting images as well as the iconic reblog function.
  • Crossover Ship: Tumblr is an inventive place. Not surprisingly, there is a tag for it.
  • Crack Ship:
    • Tumblr/Missing e. To the point that more than just a few fanfics were written after the tumblr staff sent emails encouraging users to uninstall missing e... which didn't work in the slightest.
    • One meme suggested that since Tumblr was full of virgin females and 4chan full of virgin males, they should get together and pair up. Tumblr/Anonymous promptly ensued.
      • This got a huge boost when Anonymous planned an invasion of Tumblr, and shipping-minded people took the "invade" part to its obvious conclusion.
    • Tumblr and MapCrunch. After one day the whole MapCrunch serve system crashed from tumblr users overuse, the MapCrunch staff replied with lovely messages to the tumblr community.
    • Beyond shipping Tumblr itself, bloggers tend to ship just about everything, from silverware to planets to web browsers, Obama/Romney, and even the text, photo, chat, link, quote, audio, and video buttons.
    • Trolls francieum and forfuturereferenceonly are also commonly shipped, not least due to their actual interactions.
    • To sum it up, put any two objects or people in close proximity and Tumblr will probably ship it
  • Don't Shoot the Message: Social Justice blogs are a perfect example of this. Most of what they say is true and most people on and off the site can agree with them but many are infuriated by their vitriolic anger, pettiness, bullying tactics, self-righteousness and condescension towards anyone who is not as knowledgeable about issues as they are (they frequently complain about ignorance but respond to every genuine query with a dismissive "It's not my job to teach you") as well as their tendency to sneer at and dismiss the genuine suffering and discrimination suffered by groups outside their area of concern. There are even blogs run by activists who either explicitly state that they are not associated with SJ groups or they even mock and express disdain for the methods they use.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
  • Fandom Rivalry: With several SN websites, Facebook in particular. There seems to be some sort of unwritten rule against posting your Tumblr blog on Facebook and vice versa. A lot of the taboo with connecting Tumblr and Facebook probably has to do with Tumblr's large amount of NSFW content, as well as a difference in culture.
    • Also where a lot of fandom wars take place, due the average age of users and unmoderated tagging system. Sherlock fandom's many fights over tags were here.
    • There's one between fans of video game company SNK and fans of Attack on Titan (Or "Shingeki no Kyojin" in Japanese which can be acronymmed to SnK) due to fans of latter tending to tag posts relating to it with the "SnK" acronym rather than the "AOT" acronym which annoys fans of the former who had the acronym for much longer and feel it is being stolen from them.
  • Forced Meme: Due to the incredible speed something can spread, a meme can be created, get forced and die in weeks if not days while still getting thousands of views.
  • Fridge Horror: Tumblr users apparently love looking for this in their favourite works of fiction, no matter how hard they have to squint to find it. A common recurring pattern is for someone to post a gif or image of a funny, sweet or romantic moment from a particular show, only for someone else to then reblog it while also adding an often lengthy list of reasons (sometimes plausible, often less so) for why it's actually a dark, depressing or terrifying moment if you look at it the right way.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • On 25th June 2013, Senator Wendy Davis and Senator Leticia Van de Putte stopped Texas' anti-abortion bill with a thoroughly Moment of Awesome 13-hour Holding the Floor session. In late June, they took over your dash. No exceptions. Davis later announced her candidacy for Texas governor. Tumblr's reaction was predictable — and enthusiastic, to say the least.
    • Obama had a memetic badass reputation on the site during the 2012 presidential election. His reputation was hurt a bit from the 2013 NSA scandal and the 2013 government shutdown, but his reputation hasn't been hurt nearly as much as several other politicians.
    • Beyoncé is practically worshipped on the site. This went Up to Eleven after she released a surprise album complete with music videos in December 2013. No one even knew the album existed beforehand but it was still a gigantic hit-selling over 400,000 copies in a day.
  • Memetic Mutation: Naturally has its own page.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Within the site, you will quickly find one for each character of everything ever.
    • This has happened to a lot of users. Many a blogger has been chased off the site by saying one stupid or controversial thing on a post and being unlucky enough for it to get popular, the site's reblog feature ensuring that it'll never truly leave the public eye. Cue hordes of hateful messages for many, many months until the blogger finally either shuts down their blog or changes their username.
    • Outside the site, Tumblr users are often stereotyped as either hipsters, people obsessed with trying to be as random as possible, or social justice warriors.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The horror blogs, containing gore (both real, or fake), creepypasta stories, and blogs dedicated to horror films.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name:
    • "4chumblr" for 4chan/Tumblr, a bizarre ship that popped up when the fanbase of Tumblr and 4chan tried to invade the other.
    • All over the place due to the rampant shipping. In fact they now even have Portmanteau Fandom Names, "Superwholock" from Supernatural, Doctor Who and Sherlock being perhaps the most common.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Replying to blogs is woefully limited, at least compared to other blog services. The most lenient settings you'll see on a blog are "let people I'm following reply to my posts" + "let people following me for >2 weeks reply to me", and even then you're bound to a 250-character limit. You also cannot reply to your own posts, or delete your comments, short of making another comment to replace it (that's right, you cannot post more than 1 comment per entry). Also, you can't reply to rebloged posts. Some users take up using Disqus for comments, but it hasn't really caught on and since the "n comments" thing that Disqus adds to posts does not appear on the dashboard, many users can spend years following your blog without ever noticing the Disqus comment boxes.
    • The servers are infamous for being down for a good plurality of the time. Also, that awkward moment when servers go down right when you make a post.
    • Trying to view a tag that is used by more than one thing.
      • For example, viewing the Chair tag, which is the Portmanteau Couple Name for the Chuck/Blair pairing on Gossip Girl results in a page full of furniture. This fact is not ignored by people who ship opposing couples who have taken to calling it "furniture shipping".
      • A similar example is the Carly/Sam Les Yay pairing on iCarly. It's couple name is Cam. Millions of pictures. None of Carly and/or Sam. Unlike the Chuck/Blair pairing, Cam shippers have invented an alternate name, Shaykett which is mildly popular.
      • There are two results for searching pbj; a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or a popular Homestuck slash pairing.
      • Same for "rosemary," although this particular Les Yay ship almost certainly overwhelms the herb.
      • Arguably "solara" as well, for Sollux/Aradia; there's a car called the Toyota Solara, so the tag in question has a decent amount of shipping pictures...and nearly as many pictures of cars. Cue confusion. (The "arasol" tag is more popular for the ship, though, possibly as a result of the whole car thing.)
      • Also The Bear tag isn't just pictures of the animals.
      • Try searching for Kratos. You'll probably get mostly Kratos. Any characters that share a name have the same problem. Of course, if you like multiple characters with the same name.. say Haruhi and Haruhi, then you get double the awesome in one tag!
      • Fans of BBC's Sherlock ended up clashing with SHINee fans, of all things, after the band started releasing teasers of a mini-album called Sherlock. The interaction in the tags was... interesting, and the quarrel was quashed when someone began posting shock photos and gay porn to the tag. Ah, Tumblr.
      • The "blur" tag can contain either blurry photographs or posts about a popular BritPop band.
      • The "IB" tag was originally devoted solely to talk about the International Baccalaureate programme, but when Ib caught on in popularity, it started to overtake the IB tag. Some Ib players noticed this, however, and now try to tag their posts about the game with "Ib (game)" instead.
      • The "diapers" tag creates the disturbing juxtaposition of parenting blogs and diaper fetishists.
      • For the love of God, do not even think of searching the "balls" tag.
      • Also, try searching the tags for bands like Yes, Rush, and Heart.
      • Fun with Acronyms: SLC? Why it's a grab bag of St. Louis Cardinals, Salt Lake City, or Sarah Lawrence College
      • Browsing the "typo" tag for spelling typos? Tough luck, "typo" is also short for "typography".
      • Want to browse posts about CAVE? Good luck.
      • The Survivor tag is a bizzare mix of TV show fans and people who have survived forms of abuse or traumatic events.
      • One of the Idiosyncratic Ship Names for the Jack/Toothiana pairing from Rise of the Guardians is Frostbite. The "frostbite" tag contains lots of material about either a Young Adult vampire book called Frostbite or pictures of people's body parts affected by frostbite instead of the pairing itself.
      • Around the show's inception, the Elementary tag used to be a gigantic, wanky mess due to Fandom Rivalry from Sherlock fandom. Most of it was pure dreck, mixed in with people talking about their elementary school and a small amount of actual discussion around the show. The fandom had since then learned to use 'elementasquee' for positive posts, although it's gotten relatively better now that the show has finished its first season and gained more fans.
      • SNK fans tend to have problems with Tumblr, as the "SNK" tag (in the context of games developed or published by SNK, a company that's been around since the late 70s) has been more or less taken and rendered obsolete by the Attack on Titan (originally "Shingeki no Kyojin" in Japanese) fandom. This led to the above-mentioned rivalry between the two fandoms over the tag, in which the latter's popularity has caught on and quickly overtook the "SNK" tag. As a response, fans of SNK use tags such as "snk playmore" or "the real snk" and the like and also state that they would very much prefer Titan fans to simply use the English acronym "aot" if they have to abbreviate the title.
      • The Arrow fandom unfortunately shares a tag with pictures of jewelry, street-signs, archery, inspirational quotes, and basically anything that ever contained an arrow ever.
    • All of the above was absolutely not helped by the fact you could only search one tag before late 2013. Even now, however, tags are all over the place, with people misspelling or not tagging their posts, and people not using punctuation or colons in punctuated titles.
    • Posts will only appear in their first 8 tags.
    • For a long time, users were unable to reblog asks. And now you can, but you have to manually edit the post to add tags.
    • The navigation system, whenever you want to look back on your old Likes. Especially nightmarish if endless scrolling is on.
    • The mobile app has a cap on the number of posts it will load.
      • Mobile in general. Aside from not showing the "source" of a post (which makes reblogging image-only posts from stranger's blogs borderline impossible), editing your posts and drafts (on the smartphone version) removes all the formatting and margins, and sound files are opened in the phone's sound players (which are incompatible) rather than being played in the app itself.
    • The 250-posts-per-day limit. While not a problem for people who use Tumblr like a traditional blog with a few posts per day, those who tend to post a lot (e.g. roleplayers and those who tend to use Tumblr for conversations) and reblog a lot will have problems using the site.
    • You can only send 5 "ask" messages per hour.
    • If you send a user an "ask" message, you will only be notified if the person responds to you privately. If they responded by posting the message and their response, if any, on their blog, you won't get any kind of notification, and have to check their blog manually. This isn't too bad for blogs with a gentle rate of posting, but for blogs that post a lot, expect to scroll through dozens of pages and hundreds of posts, especially if that blog uses a hard-to-read design and especially if they don't bother to tag your username.
    • Only the first five tags you use will show up in any tag search. However, this can be used to keep a post from appearing in a tracked tag, if you want to use tags to organize your blog but avoid stirring up any backdraft.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • Any work with a large fan following on Tumblr has this to varying degrees. Ship wars can get pretty bloody on this site as there is pretty much zero moderation, that any single person can cause havoc in a tag, and any one single person can retaliate on a massive scale. Worst in the small to medium size fandoms because they don't have the numbers to 'outflood' a ship war with positive posts, but are big enough that a ship war can be sustained a long time by retaliation and counter-retaliation before it fizzles out.
    • Watch out especially for the "tagging" function. This allows users to categorize their posts by placing tags on them, and for others to find those posts when they search for or "track" that tag. If you try to categorize a post bashing a ship with that ship's Portmanteau Couple Name, God help you against the shippers who find that post in their tracked tag.
  • Snark Bait: Circulating pictures of "girl gamers", which are basically just models holding video game controllers, sometimes incorrectly.
    • If something is considered bigoted, consider it as good as dead to Tumblr.
    • Tumblr holds its fair share of caustic critics.
    • This also applies to the Self-Deprecation that users like to mock, claiming that somebody on Tumblr is bound to get offended by anything.
      A Poem About Tumblr (Original)
      Roses are red,
      Violets are blue,
      Um, what the hell are you talking about, you fucking asshole? Roses and violets can be any fucking color they want, and who are you to judge them? Maybe they don’t even identify as roses and violets and you’re just making this decision based on their appearance. Wow, go fuck yourself, you bigoted asshole.
  • "Stop Having Fun" Guys: Rather pleasingly, these people are shouted back down almost immediately due to the community's intense emphasis on egalitarianism and self-positivity. Establishing arbitrary and unofficial "rules" on how to behave on the site or how to do something is frowned upon immensely, while doing whatever you like (as long as it's not hurting anybody) is encouraged.
    • There are users who absolutely hate fandom and Tumblr memes, and won't hesitate to tell you so. Expect long flame wars and trolling.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: No matter how small a change, you can bet there is going to be a large group of people who feel this way. Some examples:
    • The new dashboard looks of 2011 and 2012. Almost immediately after both of the changes took place, many users demanded the staff to change back to the old dashboard.
    • Also the new rules for asks (limiting the characters to 200, waiting for an hour to post new messages, no linebreaks, not putting links in the ask box, etc.) It should be noted, however, that while the Facebook-esque dashboard change prompted a Facebook-esque reaction of anger that fizzled out quickly, the ask box changes are still widely hated, and prompted a "blackout" in September. And now the ask limit has been downgraded from ten to five, fueling this trope more, especially from roleplayers.
    • The 250-post-per-day limit. While hardly an issue for those who use Tumblr like a traditional blog, it has raised complains from users who are exceptionally heavy with reblogs and post a lot. (For reference, 250 posts per day is equal to about one post every six minutes.)
    • Not related but has elements of this trope: Fan Mail, although not because it changes anything but because it's a completely useless "feature" instead of the things people have asked for (and missing e delivered).
    • Tumblr getting rid of the old customizing page for themes, which resulted in this for many.
    • The new tag system function, which went from displaying the tags on the sidebar to a drop-down feature from the search bar, fueled this for many. The fact that it is supposed to make searching and tracking tags easier but instead making it disorganized and non-intuitive doesn't help. Thankfully, people quickly wrote some programs to put it back in the rightful spot. The only good thing is that you can search multiple tags, now.
    • They changed the "Someone reblogged/liked/replied to your post" dash notifications ever so slightly, by making them a tad bigger and adding a preview picture of the post the person reblogged/liked/replied to. Immediately, everyone started screaming about how terrible it was — primarily because it broke Missing E's reply-reply feature, which most of them had forgotten wasn't part of Tumblr.
    • The new blogging tool layout is changed to a more minimized look. Already, many users are fuming about the change, mainly because it makes them very difficult for them to post things, especially for those who make GIF photosets and roleplayers. It got to a point where some disgruntled users started petitions to force the staff to revert back to the old interface. Luckily, some users find a way to get the UI back to its original state by using user-agent apps on their browsers.
    • The Yahoo! acquisition. When the news broke that Yahoo brought the site, many users went nuclear, fearing that the site would eventually be "Yahoo-ized", and one user made a site called "Tumblr Refugees" for users to go there if in case if does.
      • The one change Yahoo seems to have made is commercial Tumblrs are able to force their posts onto dashboards of users not following them... which, as usual, got a lot of people angry. Of course, people quickly figured out how to disable and remove the ads.
      • The site had a minor incident where any tags that can be considered NSFW were blocked, up to and including LGBT tags. Understandably, it caused an outrage, but it turned out Tumblr temporarily censored them while they figured out a content blocker.
    • As of October 2013, the site has a new sidebar look with new icons and fewer lines, which is intended to be cleaner and sleeker, but it ended up being more tedious for users to do simple things like customizing their theme and checking followers. Fortunately, some users made some programs to make it back to its rightful state.
    • The search bar, which instead of showing results of tags in the "tags" page, now goes to the "search" page itself. Users were not happy, especially those with slow internet connections, which can take longer to load with the endless scrolling. Many of them found a way by manually put the "tagged" in place of the "search" on the url.
    • Parodied in a recent post showing that the m no longer had a curve on the serif.
  • True Art Is Angsty
    • Post an image, any image. Fandom, not fandom. Sometimes it doesn't even have to be the tiniest bit sad. Users will eventually add some short, heartbreaking story, explanation or observation to go with it. Sometimes to Tear Jerker results... and, occasionally, to the funniest things, such as claiming an MRI of a zombifiation from The Walking Dead is the brain releasing endorphins during death, or a horse dildo supposedly being a picture of an African-American burn survivor's arm.


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