Protesting loud with silence

Bloggers are hoping to send Tumblr a loud message with a silent protest.


Lauren Rae Orsini


Published Aug 31, 2011   Updated Jun 3, 2021, 3:02 am CDT

More than 10,000 Tumblr users—and counting—are hoping that Saturday will be one quiet day on Tumblr.

That’s when they plan a day of silence to protest protest recent feature changes on the popular blogging site.

The event, “Tumblr Blackout Day,” begins at 12 AM in each user’s respective time zone and lasts 24 hours.

The idea originated in a post on Your Fandom Sucks, a blog that usually covers ships and romantic pairings on TV shows like Community and True Blood.

Nana, the blog’s creator, hopes that a day off of Tumblr will help convince the network’s moderators to rethink some of their recent changes.

“You are telling them that that we were very happy with many of the old features that we once had,” she wrote. “This is a respectful silent protest.”

The Chicago blogger told the Daily Dot that called for the event to protest Tumblr’s banishment (at least temporarily) of popular Tumblr extension, Missing E.

She came up with the idea yesterday reading a new blog post from Missing E developer, Jeremy Cutler.

“The changes and attacks on Missing E that have resulted in many features being taken away and may result in it’s permanent banning,” she said.

She also unhappy with Tumblr CEO David Karp taking what she calls a “let them eat cake” attitude toward user malcontent.

So far, she said, the response has been “90 percent positive.”

“I have seen a little opposition and lack of faith. Some people are upset because it’s on Doctor Who Day,” she said. “But I think Tumblr takes well to peaceful ‘protesting,’ and I think that everybody wants to see positive changes to their online community.”

Participants can indicate that they will be off Tumblr on the blackout day by reblogging Nana’s original post and making their final Friday post simply: “BRB BLACKOUT.”

More than 10,000 have already made the commitment and Nana is hopeful that their resolve holds until Saturday’s event, still three days off.

“In a community so saturated, I am not sure how much of an impact we could possibly (have), but if we can get even one Tumblr administrator to pay attention to us, it will be well worth it.”

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*First Published: Aug 31, 2011, 10:08 pm CDT