To “YouTube” a site…


Having just deleted my Tumblr for the scond time, this time for keepsies, I was thinking about a few things, namely, what causes a site to go so horribly wrong. Just like YouTube. YouTube and Facebook are essentially my go-to examples of how not to make websites for people.

The first thing is automated filtering, and if the megacorps steer Europe the way they want them to go, that’s going to be a significant problem for a whole continent’s worth of people, minimum. With that, it tends to become the things that are supposed to get filtered end up getting through, like bootleg porn viruses, and using half a second of a song in “fair use” terms gets the entire video blocked in Germany, if not the world. The weird thing about Tumblr is they’re trying to badly combat a very illegal problem involving children by banning adult content exclusively. Therefore, in some twisted sense, it’s going to be an even bigger target for that highly illegal exploitative stuff. Also it probably won’t fix the bot problem. Speaking of filters, I still have some junk Yahoo mail account around which is receiving more spam in the inbox than is going into the actual spam folder. I have many reasons to not use that account for anything important.

The second thing is constantly going back on words, which applies to a lot more than websites. Essentially they’ll say something like “we don’t plan to mess with how people upload and have content up there” and then they start messing with it. Or someone posts something very terrible and they say something like “we’re going to make sure this doesn’t happen again” before just giving them a week’s probation and right after they post more stupid garbage. Likewise, any time a megacorp buys out a site, that’s a sure sign of speeding toward the end of an “Internet tech cycle” as I’ve described before, and alternatives should be starting development at that time to better ease any transition.

The third thing is totally selling out. Once sites are bought up, it can’t be too long before the megacorp culture invades any prior site policies, and you end up with something like how Wal-Mart would sell CDs. All the Verizon megacorp wants to do with its Oath branch before totally absorbing that dystopian future name into a really generic Verizon name is to get Tumblr back on the Apple App Store to make all kinds of ad money with their ad-infested app. There are legitimate reasons for using adblock, a lot of them involving viruses, but also ones involving site-interruping behaviors such a full-page ads right in the middle of a “news feed” or really loud autoplay video that plays at 4K even though the ad is only about the size of a credit card. Also if the ad content is complete garbage and might be something like a two hour long rant against anyone who does not fit their profile for being the perfect human.

There’s one more thing I want to mention, sort of related. Essentially any Verizon/Oath-related company seems hellbent on erasing the past Internet completely, starting with Yahoo and Geocities, then AOL chatrooms, and the next step is probably downsizing Tumblr to be more like Facebook for kids, including removing a lot of the customization features that can define a blog’s style. Just like what YouTube did with their channel pages, which also insisted there was some loud autoplay video on the front page. I’m an advocate for full website customization, and not just something like changing a few colors or a couple pictures on a social media page. The old style of web must continue, as it really shows who someone is.