The Tumblr Take-Down, part 2 of 2

 


Back on 12/18/18, just before Tumblr began to remove all pornography from its servers, I wrote a hopeful but naive article where I surmised that the “Tumblr Take-Down” as I’ve dubbed it “will probably not impact me very much” because “nobody else can tell that this (pro wrestling) is pornography…, so it has never been censored.”

Boy was I a clueless jobber, unaware that a big, ugly computerized Heel known as the Algorithm was about to Pile-Drive many of the great wrestling-related Tumblr sites I had been following!


We have now learned that the Algorithm views most pro wrestling imagery as “content—including photos, videos, GIFs and illustrations—that depicts sex acts.”   But it’s NOT sex though, you dumb fucking algorithm!

Here is how one of my loyal readers, who had a Tumblr site, described the outcome in a comment posted to my 12/18/18 article:

Tumblr is often hiding the entire blog if anything might be “explicit”. This is being predetermined by computer algorithms that unfortunately see many pro wrestling images as “explicit” because they have lots of exposed flesh and bodies pressed together…”


 

The computer is not nuanced enough to see that this is wrestling rather than sex. Individual posts get automatically tagged as explicit and you have to manually scroll through every post and click “review” to have a human look at them.”

By the way, all the images posted in today’s article were found on Tumblr BEFORE the big Take-Down.  Are they still available out there?  Probably not, dude.  Here is how another Tumblr, BigSqueezer, described his experience to me in an email:


 


They started auto-flagging everything that had a shirtless male and said it was against the user agreement.”

So the Algorithm can’t tell pro wrestling apart from sex at this point.  We hope it can learn the difference.  As users protest each Take-Down, some human can agree to unlock the wrestling content, which hopefully slowly educates the Algorithm that dudes in trunks & boots executing Headlocks & Armbars are NOT FUCKING.

But that will take time and effort and I’m honestly not sure if the Algorithm will ever become sophisticated enough to draw the fine line between wrestling and sex because they ARE IN FACT similar in appearance!


And Bigsqueezer reached a similar conclusion in his email rant:

Here’s the strange part – Tumblr is NOT WRONG in spirit if their intent was to strike porn by killing all wrestling off Tumblr. I use wrestling as my personal porn and they hit me there hard. It’s just that it doesn’t qualify as porn in any other measure.”

With pro wrestling as my porn, I’ve had free, open access my whole life, beginning on TV and in dime-store magazines (nearly free), and now all over the Internet and Social Media.  Nobody else seemed to notice how sexy it was, yet it was right there, before their very eyes!

So the Tumblr Algorithm is perhaps the first entity to catch us at our game and call us out: Hey I see you over there — this wrestling stuff is gay porn!  You can’t watch that!  (Not for free, anyway.)


 


 

 

 

 


So this Take-Down has led me to two interesting conclusions:

(1). It is no wonder that pro wrestling has aroused me my entire life because it LOOKS MUCH LIKE SEX.  I am justified in getting off on it, I am not a sexual deviant, because even a computer took a glance at it and said: Yup, that is fuckery.

(2).  Artificial Intelligence ain’t that smart (yet).  We’ve all heard that machines are about to take all our jobs because they can out-think us, but I’m not scared at this point.  AI cannot figure out what most five-year-old humans can figure out at a glance: they’re just rasslin’, they’re not doing anything dirty.  (or are they?)


 

From what I can tell and what users have told me, the Algorithm uses two different moves when it sees content that it deems inappropriate:

(1). Devastating Finisher: the wipe-out of your entire Tumblr page, everything you’ve ever posted, deeming that “This Tumblr may contain sensitive media.”   Yeah, no shit it’s “sensitive” — we are adults here.

One reader posted on my previous article that they made it a big painful endeavor to submit a ticket asking to be released from Tumblr jail.  Plus it probably makes you feel ashamed — “Hey nanny, can you unlock my wrestle-porn site real quick, I’d like to jerk off here…”


(2). Photo-Focused Weakener:  the hiding of only your questionable images from public view, leaving up your text and any clearly benign, non-sexual photos.

As one of my readers predicted: “I think a lot of great wrestling-related tumblrs will simply die because they’ve made it hard to navigate.  Their communication about the process made things sound easier than it really is.  Marking all your flagged posts for review is very tedious if anybody has a lot of posts flagged.”


And then, Bigsqueezer noticed that some of the awesome Bearhug images he successfully rescued from the Photo-Focused Weakener were later re-banned.  The Algorithm didn’t learn shit!  This is like finally struggling out of the Heel’s awful Figure 4 Leglock, only to have him slap it right back on you again!

Well Bigsqueezer posted that he is done on Tumblr.  The “Puritans win.”  His Tumblr is still sitting there with some good stuff on it, but only “posts they deemed good enough for church.”  On his departure, however, he left us a link to a really hot Reverse Bearhug + Bodyscissor combo by Kurt Angle “trying to suck the breath” out of the adorable Rey Misterio.

 


Due to the devastating effects of the Tumblr Take-Down, I’ve had to clean up my Blogroll over in the right-hand margin.  I’ve deleted my links to several disappeared Tumblrs:  Backbreakerz,   Cute Jobbers vs. Dirty Wrestling Heels, Suffering Men, and Why I Love Wrestling.

Although Why I Love Wrestling still has some limited content, probably because he contested the Devastating Finisher and has fought off some Photo-Focused Weakeners, there is not enough hot wrestling imagery remaining to justify sending you there via a link.



And in the end, Tumblr gets to decide what can be posted on their (free, by the way) service.  If they want all the porn — or all the pro wrestling for that matter — to disappear, it’s their call because they own the server.  If they want to anger all their customers and watch their popularity tumble (see what I did there?), then so be it.

For this blog, I pay a pretty penny each November in server fees, which buys me the right to post I guess whatever I want.  And most human reviewers would think nothing of Kerry von Erich applying an Armbar (little do they know it’s hot AF!)


So have no fear, this blog remains a safe place where you can satisfy all your pro wrestling fantasies.  My content provider where all these images are stored — Webmasters.com — would never apply a Devastating Finisher on me, because they’d be killing the goose who lays a golden egg each year around November.

I do use free WordPress for its blogging framework so that I don’t have to code all the bells and whistles the hard way (i.e., the goodies in the right-hand margin primarily.)  So it’s possible that WordPress could turn Heel on me and chair-strike me from behind, but that would be more of an inconvenience than a Devastating Finisher.


And by the way, there are still some pro wrestling Tumblr sites in the ring, who I’m calling the Tenacious Tumblrs.  They refuse to tap out to the Algorithm, escaping from the Devastating Finisher and fighting off each Photo-Focused Weakener by bitching to the ref about each violation.

I will blog about the Tenacious Tumblrs and let you know who I’m still following in a future article — this one is getting a bit long and boring to read, I’m sure.


Well that concludes what I wanted to write about the Tumblr Take-down of 2018, but I still have a couple extra images that I (luckily) grabbed pre-Take-Down to use in this article.

So I will just post them here — you deserve it after losing so much great free content.



 


 

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10 Responses to The Tumblr Take-Down, part 2 of 2

  1. wishwecouldfight says:

    Tumblr did not just destroy great pro wrestling blogs. It destroyed a whole community that share the same passion for hot matches and thus have formed a strong bond. People may choose different platforms for their new blogs, but that connection is lost forever.

  2. Mindsweeper says:

    The appeal process is highly flawed as well. I have images that were unsuccessful on appeal even though they broke none of the rules. Once you appeal and lose, that’s it. There’s no point in wasting time creating new content if it has a strong chance of being flagged.

    My bigger concern is that this isn’t Tumblr’s decision. Apple had suspended the app. They had to do this. As long as big global tech companies control what lives on our devices, they ultimately control the content. Apple and Google can do this to literally anyone who has a large app-based presence.

  3. admin says:

    Thanks Mindsweeper. By the way, I dig your superhero art and will sure miss your Tumblr. Is there anywhere else we can enjoy your work? Maybe on one of those art websites (one that is hopefully not subject to Apple’s tyranny.)

  4. Mark says:

    As an ordinary computer user, I find their ap to be useless. You can’t even subscribe to wrestling sites, it’ll say “There’s nothing there” or something. Yet you can access some by just entering the URL on a browser. And there will be a flash on your start up “Tumblr loves this post from Dirty Old School Wrestling!” They’re hurting.

  5. Mindsweeper says:

    That’s a good idea. There are still a ton of images that you can see. I don’t know the standards for DeviantArt or places like that. I also don’t know if they allow stories. I had a website way back in the day and it was too much work. I thought about a blog, too. How easy is WordPress?

  6. It was quite a shock to see Tumblr implode so spectacularly in the months that Verizon had purchased it. I don’t know what is more shocking — that Yahoo basically left it alone, save for some irritants, or that Verizon proceeded to piss those users away.

    I’ll miss quite a lot of the great content that people would share with one another, and hopefully (it is the Internet, after all,) new and better services will rise up to accommodate it.

    And, of course, we have you and Wrestling Arsenal!

  7. I miss my Tumblr and making hot wrestling gifs every fucking day. I had over 1k followers and it was also the main outreach for my KSW blogger page. My viewers are finally coming back, but I went from 100-150 views a day down to around 10.
    I still can’t believe they did what they did.

  8. admin says:

    Mindsweeper, regarding setting up a blog on WordPress, there are two ways to do it, the easy way and the hard way (I do it the hard way.)

    Easy way: You create your site on their server. No software to download — user-friendly web-based site-building tools that work right from your browser. Your URL will be NameOfWebsite.wordpress.com. They give you 3 GB of free storage space, but under the free option, their advertising banners appear on your site. You can pay a monthly fee of $3 for more storage space and no banner ads. Once you go over 6 GB, they will charge you $4 per month, and up from there depending on storage usage. My website after 18 years of uploading images is at 13 GB, so I would have to pay WordPress $25 per month — $300 per year which is like 3 times what I pay on my commercial server. Oh and under this option, you cannot post what they define as pornography — “visual depictions of sexually explicit acts” (sound familiar?) The censorship was the main reason I avoided the easy solution more so than the price — some of my images are a bit “explicit.”

    Hard way: You go rent your own server space and domain name (I use Webmasters.com) but use the WordPress blogging tools and plug-ins (e.g., traffic counter, spam filter, etc.) Your domain name will be YourRegisteredDomain.com/wordpress. The set-up was very complicated, although there is a step-by-step guide and a dummy like me eventually figured it out after much frustration. You need to FTP onto your server, create a /wordpress sub-folder, grant Read and Write permissions for that folder, download a huge zip file from wordpress.com, FTP that file onto your server, unzip it in the /wordpress folder, open the Options folder and type in some pointers (what folder to save comments in for example) and permissions (can users edit your pages, etc.). If none of this is making any sense, I can’t recommend you try this. But once it’s finally set up, it’s a pleasure to use all the WordPress features — much easier than a raw website. (Except they want you to install updates and patches every few months which requires you to repeat some of the above steps.)

    But the real beauty of the hard way is that my host provider is “strongly against censorship, so as long as your content is legal, it can be hosted with us. As a web host, we feel it is our duty to protect the freedom of speech and expression on the Internet. If we receive a complaint about the content of a customer’s website, that content must be proven to be illegal in the United States by the complainant in order for us to take any adverse action.” So I feel I’m safe from the Puritans and Algorithms for now.

  9. PiledriveU says:

    My site is back up, PiledriveU. I occasionally go through my old posts that are restricted and if I dispute them, they’ll get approved by a human almost immediately (if the post is dirty often I’ll just remove the offending image and the post will probably go through).

    The problem is with NEW posts…….I make a post, it’s clean, but the algorithm thinks its naught. So I click dispute but unlike historical posts, it seems that NEW posts go into a separate queue which can take up to a day to be approved.

    So what’s the problem? When the post gets approved, it re-appears back in its original queue spot, but since it’s a day later it’s buried below a million new posts so my post doesn’t get any action. They should be approving it at the top of the queue but they don’t. Makes it difficult to want to carry on with the site when there’s so little action because of this.

  10. admin says:

    Thanks for the comments PikedriveU, I follow you on Tumblr and have been a fan of your work for years. I’m sorry to hear about the late approvals that are burying your posts because I’d hate for your Tumblr to go away. If you find a new home for it, definitely let us know on this blog.

    One of my fears is that many wrestling fans will throw their hands up and quit Tumblr because their old favorite sites have gone down. Actually there are still dozens of great Tumblrs in action (which I refer to as the “Tenacious Tumblrs”) including PiledriveU. I am working on a blog article, which will post on 2/1/19 called “Ten Tenacious Tumblrs” in which I encourage my readers to get back into Tumblr and check out 10 of my favorites including PiledriveU. So maybe you will see more traffic after 2/1 — give it a chance just for a little bit longer. Thanks for posting a comment here and thanks for your great work over the years.

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