It’s been about 18 months since I was last an editor of the Tumblr #politics tag. And the crop of editors that replaced me and all the editors whose time “expired” that day (seemingly stemming from one controversial editor who had worn his welcome) are pretty much still all there.
The note I made then, that “every single editor is sympathetic and supportive to the state at least in some form or another” and all but one editor was left-leaning and/or corporate media, has not been addressed. In fact, it went in the opposite direction as the only blogger who would not have been considered left-leaning (though certainly state-supporting) left on his own accord a year ago this month (at the time, I sent a list of recommended replacements to Tumblr - none of which have seemingly been offered the opportunity).
When Tumblr’s election blog included me, an anarcho-capitalist, as a guest contributor, I thought such openness to differing point of views would start to be reflected in the politics tag. Alas, that has not seemed so.
The question is: does anyone care?
Tumblr (and Yahoo, now) certainly can curate a politics section to reflect whatever bias they so choose. And all of us are free to follow or look elsewhere.
Even when hipsterlibertarian, jeffmiller, and I were editors, the tag was still solidly left (though not quite to the fairly absolute degree that it has been for over a year now). So after about three years of existence, Tumblr #politics has established itself as a sort of thinkprogress for the young amateur, with heavy deference to contributors like Robert Reich and the white house’s official public relations tumblr. Despite everything that’s been going on lately (drones, spying, etc.), you’d have to do some serious scrolling to come across a critical word of the Obama administration - and such posts are diligently surrounded by voices that support the administration. I imagine that without the likes of letterstomycountry and thepoliticalnotebook providing the occasional counter-point, the tag would be wholly intolerable to any non-leftist.
In short, there isn’t much diversity of opinion to invite a wide swath and variety of eyeballs. Those who regularly visit the #politics tag no doubt also regularly visit sites like Mother Jones. As such, the official tag stands as reinforcement of heavily partisan views. Regular visitors no doubt find comfort in this. Those who would disagree would only find a deluge of frustration, and won’t likely visit very often. Which is fine, if that’s what Tumblr wants.
But I think what makes Tumblr so great, why I chose to make Tumblr my blogging home, is precisely that it is not strictly a forum for the like-minded. I think a #politics tag that reflects this, that provokes discussion and disagreement and enlightenment to new ideas and different perspectives, would be much more interesting.
So… what do you think?
It’s been over 12 months since I posted the above, which means the #politics editors have been there for two and a half years. Oh, and Robert Reich and the white house news feed still get heavy rotation, of course.