yukitsukihana asked: I want to argue the "Editing the Source," because that would make it impossible to credit the original artist should the original poster have credited themselves instead. Yes, you could make a new post with the proper source instead of reblogging, but those that really want to steal someone's hard work would just do the same, and then you wouldn't be able to change their source when it shows up on your dash.

This is in reference to this post of mine. Also, Kim has some good thoughts about this too.

I hear you loud and clear. However, the source should not be edited at all. Ever. It’s a published and legal archived work for posterity and attribution.

The problem with Tumblr’s source attribution is that it can take 1 of 2 directions: it can be like Reddit, or it can be like Etsy.

Reddit is anonymous, heavily re-used content, and not very reputable when it comes to attribution. Etsy or iTunes are scalable ecosystems simply due to their trusted attribution of their users’ published works.

The main difference is that one scales and the other doesn’t. The former can be replaced overnight (remember Digg?) whereas the latter can not because of it’s trusted ecosystem.

Content is king, and if you don’t create a truthful platform for users to upload their content, then the website can die overnight.

If Tumblr wants to start being a hub for fragmented content that gets tons of shares but no reputation amongst the art community or content creators then the source code should be allowed to be changed. Fuck it, in fact let’s get rid of source code all together.

However, if it wants to be a sustainable and integrated ecosystem within the content community, then the source code should never be allowed to be edited. And I’m not alone in this. When you explore content on Tumblr, it should be as much of discovering artists as much as it is about discovering art.

Right now, if a post gets 300 notes, then the attribution history looks like this:

Notes 1 - 99 = the artist’s original attribution
Notes 100 - 199 = someone wrongfully changes the source link to gain traffic
Notes 200 - 300 = a good samaritan rightfully changes it back to original artist

The problem is that even if the source if correctly changed back to the original artist, then the Notes 100-199 will still FOREVER have the wrong source attribution. The damage is already done because Tumblr doesn’t retroactively update the source attribution of previous posts.

So in 2017 when someone explores Tumblr, the bad guys already won. They’ll forever always have your link bait. They got their 10,000 notes of trackback links at the expense of your hard work.

So in the future when someone finds that song, painting, or video of yours then they’ll click on the attribution link and think it’s the other guy’s original work. Your blog is now your resume, so if you depend on discovery, as almost everyone does, then you’re screwed. We depend on the discovery of our work so that we can all make a living from it.

If people want to change the source code for their own link bait, then Tumblr will shut their account down after 3 strikes. In theory, over time, the bad guys will stop doing it or eventually be closed down. And the good guys will prevail.

So if the source attribution can still be edited, then it should at least be retroactive. The community, like Wikipedia, will eventually work itself out and the bad guys will be shut down if they wrongfully edit it for financial gain. This idea would scale.

Look at this post of mine: bonushumor hijacked it and now Tyler Oakley and 40,000 other people will forever have the wrong attribution linkbacks on their websites even after it’s been changed back to the proper content creator. If this theft remains for music movies and pictures, then discovery and the community will eventually fall apart.

This is wrong. It’s a major flaw in the posterity of our work, attribution, intellectual property, and discovery. And it’s a major flaw in Tumblr’s architecture.

  1. fororchestra posted this
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