Be popular? Get money

Catie Byrne
Features Editor 

Are you popular on tumblr? Well, now you can get paid for it.

Bloggers have used the web to monetize their content for decades, but these have largely been limited to more professional blogs and those of large corporations. However, a website this concept was largely foreign to until recently, is the personal web blogger site,

While the website, tumblr, previously monetized their content from 2010-2011, this changed as a result of brand pricing and profit controversies. However, as many bloggers realize, the ways that a website’s content changes also tends to change its format and rules.

Given the release of this information is in its infancy, details of this new monetization system are still murky — and given the tumblr staff’s lack of sophistication of coding — there are bound to be unhappy bloggers, roadblocks, complications and content infringement policy problems to address.

And as Yahoo, tumblr’s parent company — a company that had previously planned to sell tumblr — has now been acquired by Verizon, users expect further complications.

Those who have been particularly vocal in their criticism of tumblr’s decision to monetize users’ content have been sex workers. On tumblr, sex workers utilize the site as a form of advertising themselves, their image and their services.

One may assume sexual services are primarily solicited over the phone or in real life, however, tumblr, as well as the web itself, has opened up a market for sex workers to monetize themselves; and on tumblr, many sex workers wished to monetize themselves on their own terms, via their personal blogs.

These sex workers of tumblr are then angry with tumblr’s decision to monetize itself, because this decision results in the removal of its ‘not safe for work’ content. This content; essentially, sex worker’s’ content, is being taken down.

As a result of being unable to produce and market themselves, sex workers have stated that this decision infringes on their ability to make a living because they are being edged out by big time advertisers that will replace the content they use to advertise.

This decision has raised ire for many, as there are frequent inconsistencies documented in the ways in which tumblr’s staff enforces and ignores its own content policies.

Sex workers on tumblr have claimed that they are being unfairly targeted —  while not safe for work blogs run by those who harass other blogs and post child pornography — have not been as consistently reported, deleted or had their content taken down in the way that sex workers have.

So, what does this mean then?

Many tumblr bloggers speculate that tumblr’s decision to monetize itself will create a techno-hierarchy, in that the most popular tumblr blogs will gain a dangerous amount of power in their monetary influence, while those with fewer followers will amass less money and notoriety.

Specific details or guidelines have yet to be released regarding how tumblr will allow users to monetize their blogs. However, tumblr staff has stated that this monetization will happen through advertisements.


Categories: Features, Human Interest, Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

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