I went ahead and signed up for the “ad-free browsing” Tumblr now offers and I’m happy to know others are too, and I want to say that I’ve seen a lot of people angry that Tumblr is trying to get people to “pay” to get rid of ads and like okay, yeah. Paying the amount gets rid of the ads, and Tumblr’s intent here is to have you pay them money and they will not show you the ads that would be making them the money you’re now paying them, because that’s how ads on websites work, and have always worked. the money has to come from somewhere, and if it’s not ads, it’s users. or both.
but also like.
I’ve never had the ability to just give Tumblr money. It’s never been an option available to me.
I can’t really speak for anyone else, but I do often have some spare money, and I often use that money to donate to things that I like that have made my life more bearable. I set aside money each year for my monthly donations to AO3. I donate to wikipedia when they ask. I “buy gems” on flight rising at least once a year. Stuff like that. And even the last one, I do that once a year not because I want the gems (it’s nice to get them) but because I use the site often and it improves my life and I want it to keep running. I donate to things I am able to use for free because they mean something to me. Because I want them to stay, and I understand that it’s not their fault it takes money to run things.
I’ve never had that option here. I’ve never been able to donate directly to Tumblr to say “here’s $20 to keep the lights on, thanks for giving me a place to call home.” I’ve never been able to speak to Tumblr with my money.
And yes, it’s a hellsite (affectionate and derogatory) and yes they do things that drive me up a wall sometimes, and they’re not even close to perfect. They fuck up plenty.
But… it’s ours. This space is mine, it’s where my friends are, it’s where I come to unwind, it is full of some of the most amazing folks I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with. It contains so much fandom history at this point. And it’s not tracking us and it’s not making us use real names and there’s no viewing someone’s follower count, no one gets merit for anything, posts blowing up is chaotic at best. There is no other site like that, not really, and certainly not one so easy to use that’s already so full of people. Tumblr is one of the last bastions of wilderness on the internet, and I spend literal hours on here making stuff and talking to people and looking at stuff other people made.
And regardless of what Tumblr is or isn’t, what they have done or not done or fucked up… Tumblr isn’t just @staff. Tumblr, for me, is all of you, shitposting and meme posting and passionately science-ing and informing everyone about current events and showing off pictures of animals that make my day a little brighter. And without Tumblr as the platform to do all of this on, I would have to go someplace worse. Like Twitter. I don’t want to go to Twitter.
So… in my eyes, I’m not paying $40 to get rid of ads. I mean, yeah okay that’s happening as well, and it’s a nice bonus, but it’s not why I’m doing it, because I already get rid of ads for free.
But I AM giving Tumblr a $40 donation as a thank you for 10+ years of free service, the friends I have made along the way, the experiences I’ve earned here, the people I get to interact with, the sometimes functional website, the thousands of my posts they archive and host, and in the hopes it will stick around to continue to do all of that and more.
It doesn’t have to be worth it to you, but it’s worth it to me.