Tumblr lovers were quick to express ire in trademark sassy posts Monday after news that Yahoo is buying the blogging platform in a $1.1 billion deal.
Reaction was swift as the youthful user base of Tumblr put the California company on notice that they would hold it to the promise of allowing the New York firm to remain independent.
One Tumblr user posted an endlessly looping vide snippet of pop singer Britney Spears repeatedly saying “I’m sad” while another uploaded a picture of a man vomiting in front of a large Yahoo sign in a hallway.
A petition titled “Stop Yahoo from buying Tumblr” at website ipetitions.com topped 168,000 online signatures by midday.
“Here we were in a land of great promise, pain, and porn,” wrote a Tumblr user with the screen name “50shadesofitsadamnshame.”
“I feel like our land is going to go from land of the free and home of the fangirls/boys to oppression and censorship.”
The post and others expressed fear that Yahoo would clamp down on content in an effort to make Tumblr more family friendly.
“You are now Yahoo!’s damn bitches,” the poster contended.
Along with imaginative and unfettered social or political satire, Tumblr is known for its troves of adult content. Many wondered what being taken over by Yahoo! would mean to how Tumblr handled porn.
“Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business,” Yahoo! said in announcing the acquisition.
“The product, service and brand will continue to be defined and developed separately with the same Tumblr irreverence, wit, and commitment to empower creators.”
A Tumblr user responded by posting an animated cartoon that showed cartoon character Homer Simpson wearing a sandwich board sign bearing the message “The end is near” as he strode repeatedly past a Yahoo! logo altered to feature a giant “T.”
Some questioned how successful aging Yahoo! would be in making itself more attractive to young Internet users by taking over Tumblr.
Mat Mullenweg of blog hosting service WordPress.com said in an online message that there was a huge spike in imports of posts after rumors of Yahoo! buying Tumblr broke on Sunday.
“Some people are reading too much into the import numbers,” Mullenweg said in an update to his blog post. “I don’t think there will be an exodus from Tumblr.”
Tumblr user “godoftheinternet” called for calm, reasoning that features at the service would improve thanks to Yahoo! resources like massive datacenters for server power.
“Tumblr’s still Tumblr, it just has a new owner,” the user maintained.
“That doesn’t mean David Karp is a sell-out or any less of the creator,” the post continued with a reference to Tumblr chief executive and co-founder Karp.
“But yeah, I’d get tired of millions of 12 year old white girls calling me daddy all the time too.”
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