Two years ago, Tumblr's overabundance of porn was well-documented. Today, nothing has changed: it's still a JPEG sex bonanza. Which is A-OK with us—but what would Yahoo do about the blowjobs, wrist-slitting, racism, and other advertising-unfriendly stuff?
"There are Tumblrs with such names as We Want Porn, Above Average Porn, Defcon Porn, Porn Gif Haven, POV Porn, Porn and Weed, and When Tumblr porn goes wrong. It will be fun to see how these are integrated into Yahoo News," BusinessWeek's Joshua Brustein muses. He's got a point: if Yahoo buys Tumblr, it'll be a means of absorbing a throbbing, vibrant mass of teens and cool youths. It'll also be absorbing the objectionable stuff those kids share. This has been fine so far, since Tumblr's tween creator David Karp openly doesn't care about making money.
That's not something that's going to fly if the company wants to fetch a good price from the likes of Yahoo, a buttoned-up company with adults running the show. Adults who are going to want to court advertisers, who aren't going to want their sponsored GIFs placed next to posts from "The Guide to Rough Sex" or a Tumblr site devoted to bestiality. All I had to do was spend 10 seconds on Google, and a world of smut and gore, replete with GIFs, is hosted on Tumblr.
Or a Tumblr called "Nigger," containing exactly what you'd assume.
Or an entire galaxy of Tumblrs celebrating self-harm. All of which runs contrary to Tumblr's lax, obviously unenforced terms of service. David Karp isn't a racist or a pederast (as far as I know!), but he's preferred to run his cool, youthful company with the lightest possible touch—it's what keeps the place so cool, see? It's an experiment, an artwork, a fun, zany place to Karp—not a business.
If Yahoo (or any company) drops anything close to a billion dollars on Tumblr, you can bet the boy king's days of freewheeling are numbered.
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