I can’t help but notice bout after bout of chaotic uproar on Tumblr, the most intense of which was my own experience last summer. I can really only take so much more of this before I vomit all over my computer.
For starters, I disagree with Tyler Oakley’s “Why Diversity Sucks” video posted 5 years ago.
No. No. And no. I very much think that diversity is extremely important — and I’ve expressed this on numerous occasions in my videos.
What I don’t give a fuck about is witch hunts and hate campaigns against fellow Tumblr users. (Well…I do actually give a fuck, I just wish I didn’t have to.) Unprecedented amounts of vitriol, bullying, and harassment are not okay, yet it is very much a reality for YouTubers like myself who grew up on camera, for people who blog about substantive, high-stake topics on Tumblr, and people who speak up about social problems.
I’ve found that Tumblr can be more cruel and hateful than any other part of the internet I live on, and that is saying something. The internet isn’t always kind to women. Being immersed in a hateful environment causes psychological turbulence, depression, and self-hate in peoples’ every day lives. For anyone affected. It’s a real problem that many people on Tumblr don’t seem to understand goes two ways. It’s a reality that much of my time on Tumblr is spent feeling like I’m walking on eggshells in an abusive relationship, which is NOT OKAY. Last summer, my partner and I had to move into a new apartment because of stalking, threats of rape, and violence from Tumblr users. Please take a moment to think about what that seriously fucking means. Again: this sort of behavior NOT OKAY. I cannot stress enough how NOT OKAY this is.
My situation is an unfortunately extreme example of an ongoing problem we have here on the Tumblrsphere. It’s unfortunate that it happened and it’s unfortunate that the same stuff continues to happen. I’m going to attempt to characterize this problem because I feel it needs to be discussed. It’s really hard for me to discuss publicly, and I haven’t done it much, because it’s scary for me and past attempts have opened me up to more harassment. But a level-headed conversation about this problem really needs to happen. We need to talk about what’s going on here, and to find better ways to handle these situations.
I’m going to call this behavior a “witch hunt”. A witch hunt is a shared moral outrage over a community member’s fuckup that is followed by hunting and figuratively burning them at the stake.
The context I’m referring to in this article is very particular: when a well-intentioned figure says or does something that is really not okay, often, it seems, in their past. Racism, sexism, transphobia; using the t-word, saying diversity isn’t important, slut shaming women. Bad not okay things.
And then it begins.