What Is Responsible For Tumblr’s Recent Explosive Growth?

There is an interesting nerd cat-fight going on in this comment thread, between David Karp, founder of the popular micro-blogging website Tumblr and a “BrianD” (twitter handle @XNoArchive )

We may never learn the truth, but it started with BrianD alleging that most of the content on Tumblr is p0rn, implying that the p0rn is primarily responsible for the recent massive surge in tumblr traffic / pageviews (250 million impressions every week – according to Karp).

In response to BrianD‘s allegations, Karp claims that less than 3% of the content on tumblr is “ad*lt content”. When BrianD challenges Karp on how he came up with that number, Karp responds by saying it from the the number of users / blogs that declare their content as “N*FW” (N0t Safe For Work) by checking that box in their tumblog settings.

"f*ckyeahp0rn.tumblr.com"

Isn’t It Just Plain Old P0rn Disguised As “NSFW” Content?

Assuming that Arrington and his band of bloggers don’t delete the thread, you can read the rest of the Tumblr CEO vs BrianD cat-fight here, but what was more alarming to me was the fact that Karp is cloaking  p0rn as “NSFW” content and allowing it to be published on tumblr.

I did a quick search on the Tumblr pages indexed by google, and what came up was quite shocking.

http://www.google.com/search?&q=site%3Atumblr.com+NSFW

The results?

167,000 NSFW links going back to Tumblr.com!

I looked through a few of the search results, and found that there are 1000s of blog posts on tumblr – both photos and videos – showing people (mostly women) in various states of nudity, and some performing lewd acts on the others.

There is even a BestOfNSFW tumblog, that appears to be curating the best “NSFW” (read p0rn) on tumblr.com. Take for example this blog post I found on the BestOfNSFW tumblog. I didn’t have to look long, it was right on their front page.

is tumblr nsfw blog porn sites increasing their traffic and pageviews question on comments

A Post on NSFW Tumblog (p.s. We placed the "hearts" over the "p0rny"-parts...)

I mean how can anyone justify this as simply “NSFW” content? Clearly it goes beyond the “not safe for work”, because it is just plain old p0rn. I would go as far as to say it is “hardcore porn” because a majority of the posts I looked at displayed female genitalia, lesbian sex and groups of women (like the one above) doing dirty stuff to each other.

Regardless of what percentage of content on tumblr is “NSFW” or “adult content”, I cannot imagine that a blogging service is openly allowing such content to be posted and shared by it’s users. It is a complete shame and reeks eerily similar to the allegations that Craig Newmark got millions of pageviews on craigslist.org by hosting a popular “Escorts” / “Adult Services” section on the classified ads site.

I wonder if Tumblr’s investors are aware of this. Or maybe they are too busy cruising the “NSFW” tumblogs themselves? F*ck Yeah, I’m Just Sayin’ !

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7 Responses to "What Is Responsible For Tumblr’s Recent Explosive Growth?"

  1. boohoo says:

    who the fuck cares? if THE USERS OF TUMBLR like it, and post it themselves, then what does it matter. people have a choice to follow or not follow. Look or not look.

    • if THE USERS OF TUMBLR like it, and post it themselves, then what does it matter

      .
      Right. Everybody loves Porn. But if that is what is driving traffic to your site, then shouldn’t you come out and acknowledge it (or refute it with real analytics)? David Karp, Tumblr CEO, believes that he has < 3% porn on tumblr blog looking at the checkbox he has in the profile page that say "This is NSFW".
      So you actually expect users posting porn to go and check that box, and you base your metrics on that? C'mon now!

  2. Just to put some context on this: googling site:tumblr.com yields

    About 46,900,000 results (0.19 seconds)

    Adding “porn” reduces to about 1,000,000 results (top includes Food Porn and Obama Porn so not actually porn) and adding “nsfw” reduces to less than half a mil. Seems consistent with the 3% number.

  3. robot mathematics says:

    ^Even a robot knows that not all humans properly tag their pr0n when they post it. They could consider it 4rt or s3lf3xprses1on. Your human mathematics methodology is stupid.

    • assorted says:

      But the OP is using that exact method (Google search) to try to make her case that there is porn. It seems fair (and not “stupid”) to use that same logic back at her.

      I found this thread looking for details on how Tumblr would handle me labeling my Tumblr “NSFW.” A bunch of Tumblrs I follow (like this one – http://thisisnthappiness.com/ ) occasionally post photos with nudity but I don’t consider them porn.

      I don’t like the tone of blog posts like this. I think you’d like to create a self-censoring internet that only has kid friendly, G rated content. You clearly dislike “porn” and, not only that, seem to think that most photos that have nudity qualify.

      Ew.

  4. Cordell Vollmers says:

    Good clarification. I love see clearly Martha

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