Today’s (still today in the UK, sorry for everyone east of me for the delay!) scholarly reaction to the Tumblrpocalypse comes from Jess Allen at Fantasia, from a Twitter thread reposted with permission.
“While it’s not specifically targeting #fandom, the new #Tumblr guidelines will certainly change the way fans (particularly the younger generations of fans) express themselves and experience fan content.
As understandable as reducing the amount and severity of NSFW content on a blogging site with next to no age restrictions is, this change will have massive repercussions not only on online sex workers and those who explore porn recreationally but on the fan communities as well.
(Whether these changes are being made for purely safeguarding purposes for users or are more to do with advertising revenue and public image of the site is another topic altogether)
Tumblr has long since been known for its fan communities, and these communities’ ability to create, share and discover explicit content freely and without restriction. It could even be considered a place where many young people are able to discover their sexualities and themselves through this content, and (again), while these changes do make sense, there is now left no widely used space for explicit fan content that has the same unique usability as Tumblr. From reblogs to anon-mail and the dashboard, Tumblr’s place in fandom will be shifted immensely. (That is if these guidelines are enforced for an extended period of time).
However, it should also be noted that in the new guidelines; "Written content such as erotica […]and nudity found in art, such as sculptures and illustrations, are can be freely posted on Tumblr.” (Tumblr, 2018) This does mean a wide variety of explicit fan content will still be made available, so perhaps not all hope is lost.“