This is the first and only thing I’m going to say about this issue directly because talking about interblog politics on here is something I’ve wanted to avoid, but I think this is important to discuss w/r/t the Internet as a social medium.
Censorship on a blogging platform is uniformly a bad thing, but Tumblr is trying to be a community as well as a platform (and I think for the most part it is doing a pretty good job). Does this mean censorship is justified? Maybe, in some cases, but I think it’s safe to say that this whole incident was handled exceptionally poorly.
I do believe the folks behind Tumblr are trying to do what they think is right and I have a lot of respect for Marc and what he does, but I think are much better ways to be dealing with this (if it ought to be dealt with at all, which is still open to debate).
Should digital communities be structured as “safe spaces” or left relatively untouched? And if we are going to start creating safe spaces, who are we creating them for? Are we creating them for every user, or only those that fit a certain profile? Are we looking to protect against sexism, racism, classism, and other forms of derogatory hate speech?
Can we protect the free speech and expression of the majority without curtailing that of others?
The idea of community management is still a relatively new concept and I understand that these are difficult questions, but when you’re trying to maintain the positive spirit of a community, transparency is the best way to start. To what extent should the community itself take part in decisions about community management?