Tumblr’s Politics Tag
Some time ago, Tumblr started an official tag for political writing and picked some editors who would identify content from amongst the various politically-oriented blogs. These editors would “tag” the posts as “Politics” so that interested individuals could look through these featured posts, find new blogs to read, and generally keep an eye on the political writing of Tumblr users. And, to an extent, it works: when I was featured as a “top contributor” this week, 10-20 new Tumblr users began following my blog.
But, unsurprisingly, given the nature of the content, the “Politics” tag has also become something of a battleground. Except, of course, that there are gatekeepers — the hand-picked editors — and so the battle tends to tilt one way. Indeed, the identification of content has become so contentious that many of the Tumblr users whose blogs I follow have stopped even looking at the “Politics” tag because some of the editors’ ideological biases have gotten out of hand.
This morning, I saw that there were ten new posts that had been tagged by the editors.
Of the ten, three were from laliberty, three were from evilteabagger, one was from 12onpaul, and one was from libertarians. That’s four libertarian blogs, with eight of the ten new posts to be featured in the Tumblr “Politics” tag. From this sort of representation, one would have to conclude that libertarianism was positively sweeping the nation!
But that’s not the weirdest part, actually. Far stranger is the fact that not a single one of those posts contained any content that was actually written by the authors of those blogs; two of them, in fact, seemed to be entire chapters of books that the authors found online and simply quoted verbatim.
So, I’m done perusing the “Politics” tag, even for the minute or two each day that I used to spend there. If I’m looking for new blogs to read, I want original content, reasoned argumentation, and a genuine mix of material from across the ideological spectrum.