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In which I whine to Tumblr support about horror-movie gifs in my dash

From: me

To: Tumblr support

I’ve written before about this, when sponsored posts from universalhorrorfilms started showing up in my dash. It’s not okay with me for Tumblr to do that. I hoped it was just an early experiment in monetization, and wouldn’t happen again. I was wrong to hope that. It’s still happening.

A few days ago, while browsing my dashboard using the Tumblr iPad app, a sponsored post from theconjuringmovie showed up in my dash. I really didn’t want to seek it out again, but I thought it was important for you to understand what I’m talking about, so I dug up the ad in question. Here’s the image:

http://24.media.tumblr.com/b6478a0315d67dc25a435638295f673c/tumblr_mq3tpvl4NB1sss0r7o1_500.gif

It is so not okay for you to put images like that in my dashboard without my having any way to opt out of them. It’s a deal-breaker. It is a fundamental violation of the terms of my relationship with Tumblr.

I am happy to look at advertising as part of my Tumblr experience. I’m fine with you putting sponsored posts in the dashboard. I would be willing to see many more ads than I currently see. But seeing even one ad like that is not okay.

I’d be willing to pay for a Tumblr experience that didn’t include ads, but you don’t make that option available. I can use third-party extensions to block sponsored posts, but those solutions are only available for my desktop computer, not for mobile devices, which I like using to interact with Tumblr.

Look at it this way: Having horrific images like this show up in my dash is like being forced to follow someone I don’t want to follow. And not just someone I don’t want to follow, but someone who is actively abusing me with images intended to shock and horrify. And really, it isn’t just like that. It is that.

Maybe you believe that monetizing Tumblr is more important than allowing me to control, at least to a minimal extent, what sort of content appears in my dashboard. Maybe there are enough users who aren’t bothered by this sort of thing that you can afford to ignore people like me.

That’s your prerogative, obviously. Just as it’s my prerogative to opt out of Tumblr altogether if that’s the way it’s going to be run. But before I sign off permanently, I just wanted, one more time, to let you know what I thought.

I think what you’re doing with these horror movie sponsored posts is seriously fucked up. You should be ashamed. And not just David, though from what I can tell he’s where the buck stops at Tumblr, and bears the greatest responsibility. I mean you, the human being reading this support message. Shame on you for being part of this. You’re better than this.

Either give your users a way to opt out of the most-intrusive, most-bothersome ads, or stop showing them until you figure out how to do that.

And apologize. Because this was seriously fucked up.