He rightly argues that these king of posts are a form of plagiarism, and that highlighting them the science editors “make it [plagarism] seem acceptable”.
Well, I’m a science editor (I can star your posts) and I feel that this issue should be addressed. Jtotheizzoe’s suggestion not to feature those posts is basically what I already do, and that’s one of the reasons I feature one, maybe two posts per day.
So, once again, please, give credit to the source of your content, you just have to put a link and use quotation marks, is not that hard.
And I hope some other editor will adopt a more proper-citations-are-important featuring policy.
How Tumblr changed my life -even though I can’t be sure it did, because there wasn’t a control group*-
But then I went to “work” and I kept thinking about it and I realized I was wrong. Tumblr changed me.
This isn’t my first blog. For me, living in the middle of nowhere, internet was always the way to connect with people and share some interest. My first blog was a place to put the short stories I wrote. It was about the same time tumblr was launched. I started a tumblr too (I deleted that account a while ago and I regret that decision), but after a while I decided to shut down all my internet life.
In 2010 I started Scipsy. At first it was just a blog to post cool science-oriented pictures. From time to time I wrote some stuff, mainly in Italian, but then I gained some followers, and some more, and most of them were not Italians, so I began to write only in English. I studied English in high school, but I wasn’t a brilliant student, I didn’t learn much. But on Tumblr I was reading and writing always in English, and eventually I learned how to write something understandable. Tumblr forced me to practice and improve my English.
In these two years I watched the tumblr science community grow bigger and bigger and having a science tumblr has become more and more interesting. I was already passionate about science, but Tumblr made me realize I wanted to know more. Tumblr increased my curiosity about so many things. It was because of this tumblr that I started reading a lot more about science. Because of Tumblr I learned a lot of stuff I would have not learned otherwise.
I was reading a post by topherchris earlier today, and he wrote that on Tumblr:
It’s true. There are a lot of very talented people on Tumblr. Some of them really inspired me. I bought a camera, I started shooting photos and I’m trying to learn something about photography because of them, because of Tumblr.
So, Tumblr has changed something, maybe not my life, but me for sure, and it has given me the opportunity to talk with so many of interesting people, to exchange ideas with them, and to have fun with them.
Anyway, sorry for the lack of posts, but I’m having an hard time adjusting to this new routine with the traineeship and other stuff. I’m out of home, far away from internet and even computers, for most of the day.
Tumblr, I miss you.
Better than I expected. I quite like it. Good job.
Tumblr is planning a new policy against self-harm blogs. This includes “blogs that glorify or promote anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders; self-mutilation; or suicide.”
Tumblr will prohibit to post content that actively promotes or glorifies self-injury or self-harm and will start posting ““public service announcement”-style language whenever users search for tags that typically go along with pro-self-harm blogs.”
Some years ago I went to a little conference about this issue. I was studying psychology and I ran a tiny blog, so I was interested in the matter. An Italian blogs platform (recently closed) promoted this event in which a bunch of so-called experts were invited to give their opinions. Let’s say it was a complete failure, and the two executives of the blog-publishing service that were present admitted it was a failure, and I could see that their expectations had been dramatically disappointed. Of course none of the “experts” understood anything about what they were asking to them. One of these experts is a well known psycho-something that never misses an opportunity to show up in any talk show, saying common-sense things as if they were groundbracking truths. Another is a psychiatrist (a famous one, besides teaching in a university, he runs a professional organization and an institute for cognitive psychotherapy) that later I had the great displeasure to know because he was a promoter of “riparative therapies”, the criminal practices aimed to turn an homosexual back into a straight person. I wrote a post about this on my blog, and he came claiming I was defaming him.
It was some years ago (2007, sigh!), but those “experts” were still back in the 70’s (and maybe even further). They stated that internet is bad for people, that it reinforces maladaptive behaviors and narcissism, and that it promotes mental illness. They were (are) morons.
I remember that that blogs platform was facing the same dilemma Tumblr is facing now, censoring or let the things as they are. They were well aware that if they had decided to censore those kind of blogs, those users would have simply changed platforms.
I feel the same about the new Tumblr policy. I’m not saying that they are making the wrong decision, in fact I’m very glad they acknowledged this issue and decided to think about something to do, but I’m worried that even if their new policy could really eradicate this kind of blogs (and I’m not entirely sure it can, they say it will work searching for key words tipically associated with pro-self-harm blogs, and we all know how simple it is to bypass this kind of filters), those users would just migrate to some other blog platform.
I haven’t a solution to this issue. I’d like to read some serious researches on the subject, but from what I saw there aren’t any.
I ask myself if this kind of blogs can actually promote something, if they can really influence other people, if a girl who is at risk for anorexia, or a boy at risk for self-harm, can really be pushed by those blogs, or if those girls and boys would find a way of expressing their problem anyway. I ask myself what is the real function of this kind of blogs for the people who write them, if besides being a way of expressing themselves and their emotional distress they are also a way of creating a bond with other people who face similar issues, a way (not an adaptive one) to feel less alone and therefore even a way to try to auto-medicate.
After writing this post I searched for posts about the new policy and I spent several minutes reading the opinions of some of those who run this kind of blog. It was somehow educative.
I just don’t find interesting to follow a tumblr that reblogs the same posts I saw 2 months ago (or 6 months, or a year).
This is the “originality problem”. To follow the nth tumblr and see the same things I saw hundreds of times is frustrating. It’s one of the reasons I follow very few science tumblrs.
The “depth problem” is that along with great pictures or links to interesting articles I would love to find a bit of a commentary (I like him for this reason). This is an aspect I’d really like to improve on scipsy, and trust me, I enjoy much more to write something of my own (like this) than to post a beautiful picture of a galaxy.
Obviously I don’t expect from all those who post science on tumblr to become science writers, but sometimes I enjoy more to look at what random people commented reblogging something I posted than to search in the science tag, because I like to know what people think, not just what people like.
Whenever you post any content (article, photo, etc) to your blog that you haven’t taken or that wasn’t the result of an experiment you conducted, you’re essentially just reblogging information from a non-Tumblr site. Just saying.
True. In fact I don’t think my tumblr is special and I wish I could make a better work (like her). I was talking from a readers point of view. As a reader and I feel most science tumblrs lack of depth and originality.