Best Quotes from the New Tumblr Terms of Service


Before I could log on to Tumblr today I had to agree to their new (Jan., 27, 2014) terms of service, privacy policy, and community guidelines. On a whim–and because it was a snow day–I decided to read them all the way through. I mean I always read the terms of service in their entirety before agreeing–like everyone does. I just mean that I read them more closely than usual this time. And I’m glad I did, because Tumblr’s got some gems tucked away amidst the legalese.  Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

“If you’re younger than 13, don’t use Tumblr. Ask your parents for a Playstation 4, or try books.”

Well done, Tumblr. This warms the librarian part of my heart.

“Being able to log into your account is one of Tumblr’s many great features.”

I’ve always thought logging in to my account was one of the most unfairly underrated features of any service.

 “… may be indexed by search engines (like Google Search, or the far superior Yahoo Search)…”

This appeared not far from the quote “Yahoo owns us.”

“Don’t make us narc on you. We don’t want to.”

I certainly wouldn’t want to put Tumblr in that awkward position. Would you?

Those are from the Terms of Service and the Privacy Policy. The best bits, however, are from the Community Guidelines.

“We encourage you to dismantle negative speech through argument rather than censorship.”

Such a beautiful sentiment. Seriously.

“Don’t showcase the mutilation or torture of human beings, animals, or their remains. Dick.”

Tumblr recognizes that psychopaths are dicks.

“…please don’t use Tumblr’s Upload Video feature to upload sexually explicit video. We’re not in the business of hosting adult-oriented videos (and it’s fucking expensive).”

This appeared, ironically, right after the explanation that you should label your dirty blogs with an NSFW tag because people shouldn’t be exposed to adult content if they don’t want to be. The Community Guidelines were not labeled NSFW, by the way.

“While you’re free to ridicule, parody, or marvel at the alien beauty of Benedict Cumberbatch, you can’t pretend to actually be Benedict Cumberbatch.”

Benedict CumberbatchI’m certainly not faulting them for choice of example. But on a whim I decided to check the text of their previous version of Community Guidelines. It doesn’t mention Cumberbatch by name; this was a new addition. That makes me wonder if the next revision will feature an updated reference to a new celebrity flavor-of-the-month. I mean, not that Benedict’s star will ever fade, of course. He’s an immortal heart-throb whose popularity will never diminish. You know, like Tab Hunter, Leif Garrett, Christopher Atkins, and that kid from Home Improvement. In any event, having seen the fun the Tumblr folks have with these documents, I’ll be sure to read the updates closely from now on.

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