Tumblr’s Terms of Service. Or: How to Run A Website That Doesn’t Suck A Bag of Dick.

tumblr_logo

Tumblr recently released a new terms of conditions statement. At least, I think they did. A quick googling led me to nothing more recent than 2012, so I’m beginning to strongly suspect that I am very very behind on this, and have just been using Tumblr blatantly ignoring the terms of service for a year two years. I could have been doing any kind of servicing, breaking terms left and right, innocently performing services all over the site that it considered vulgar, indecent, and borderline inconceivable, always on the verge of being caught in the act and sent to Tumblr jail.*

Thankfully, I’ve just been reblogging pictures of Amy Pond, so even if they’ve been unsigned, Tumblr would only be able to arrest me on the grounds of being lonely  too creative.

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 8.08.43 PM

The terms of service are the usual long legal document, drier than Nefertiti’s toilet. (They used sand like cats. I know this because of The Egypt Game. This isn’t a joke so much as reaffirming how I know a very vague, tiny amount about several niche things. For posterity’s sake.)

However, to combat boredom and/or ensure anyone actually bothers reading anything while scrolling to the bottom, Tumblr has added little comments here and there, clarifying the terms. I shall go over them now. For, you know, posterity’s sake. Enjoy.

We’re just letting you know, here, that we were recently acquired by Yahoo! Inc. This section also includes an agreement where you’re agreeing to agree to the terms of this agreement.

So let’s begin with the fact that Tumblr knows it’s users. It knows that the average Tumblr user (let’s use, oh I dunno, me for example,) does not want to read miles of boring text that some Yahoo exec tweaked from every other terms of service in the history of agreeing how to use things. No thank you.

As Tumblr grows and improves, we might have to make changes to these Terms of Service. When we do, we’ll let you know. We’re also going to make it a practice to post old versions so it’s easy to see changes/additions/deletions. To see old versions, scroll down to the end of this document.

Transparency. Refreshing like a cold breeze up a see-through dress. I mean. What.

You have to be at least 13 years old to use Tumblr. We’re serious: it’s a hard rule, based on U.S. federal and state legislation. “But I’m, like, 12.9 years old!” you plead. Nope, sorry. If you’re younger than 13, don’t use Tumblr. Ask your parents for a Playstation 4, or try books.

Tumblr’s sassy and I like it. I, as a 13 year old, would have blatantly ignored this rule with a laugh and a made-up birthday (October 28, 1985. Yes, always. I liked to keep it consistent,) but little-me would have appreciated them trying, with the funny ha ha. It’s super cute that they try.

Tumblr is an ever-evolving platform. With new products, services, and features launching all the time, we need flexibility to make changes, impose limits, and occasionally suspend or terminate certain offerings (like features that flop). We can also terminate or suspend any account at any time. That sounds harsh, but we only use that power when we have a reason, as outlined in these Terms of Service, our Privacy Policy, and our Community Guidelines.

Ok, Tumblr, I see your “terminate any account at any time” and raise you the impossibility of keeping up with ever-evolving strings of usernames and followers. Nice try, old friend. Nice. Try.

Don’t do bad things to Tumblr or to other users. Some particularly egregious examples of “bad things” are listed in this section. 

Boring.

It’s really important that the email address associated with your Tumblr account is accurate and up-to-date. If you ever forget your password – or worse, fall victim to a malicious phishing attack – a working email address is often the only way for us to recover your account.

Boring.

You retain ownership you have of any intellectual property you post to Tumblr.

Wow. This is a big one. I didn’t even know you could own things anymore. I figured we had tumbled into a totalitarian communist regime known as the Internet where it owns everything and everyone has an equal ability to pretend he owns something. Yes, this post just got political! No, I’m not going any farther than that.

Something else worth noting: Countless Tumblr blogs have gone on to spawn books, films, albums, brands, and more. Any royalties or reimbursement you get for your creations are, needless to say, entirely yours. It’s your work, and we’re proud to be a part (however small) of what you accomplish.

Say what? This happens? That is rad. Also, makes me feel like the hours I spend on Tumblr aren’t wasted. Those hours are RESEARCH! They’re used for taking great leaps towards the hundreds of books, films, albums, brands, and more, oh, so much more that I’m going to produce! Thank you, pictures of pizza with sunglasses and over 9000 pictures of floral swimsuits. I always knew you would be what drives me to greatness.

An example of what it means to “make all publicly-posted Content available” to a Tumblr partner for distribution or analysis would be licensing the Tumblr “firehose,” a live feed of all public activity on Tumblr, to partners like search engines.

I don’t know why you’re using the word “firehose” and I don’t know why it’s in “quotations” but the mysterious metaphor is sexy and I like your style.

One thing you should consider before posting: When you make something publicly available on the Internet, it becomes practically impossible to take down all copies of it.

I’m looking at you, misspelled tattoo guys. Everyone else posting nudes: yo, if you want to flaunt it, you flaunt it honey child. Ain’t nothing wrong with everyone knowing you’re sexy. (Except maybe your grandma knowing you’re sexy. But let’s be honest, if she’s anything like my grandmother, she is going to be able to get past her email inbox, much less decipher the Dashboard, any. time. soon.

So flaunt that bad thang.

I need to get better at my motivational slang.

Happy Tumblin’, grumbleweeds

W

*I thought long and hard about what could be Tumblr jail. 4chan? Fanfiction.net? Kentucky? I came to no conclusion, but sincere suggestions are welcome. Insincere suggestions are double-welcome, and offered cake.

One thought on “Tumblr’s Terms of Service. Or: How to Run A Website That Doesn’t Suck A Bag of Dick.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s