Just sent a short email to the Tumblr staff:
With jgreendc stepping down as an editor, I would like to offer a few recommendations to not only replace him but to offer some much needed counterpoints to the current left-leaning (and, frankly, pro-state) lineup.
- libertarians - clever and articulate, Brian is a student and columnist who has been featured on the likes of the Huffington Post
- antigovernmentextremist - Nate keeps himself on top of current events while engaging in thoughtful discussions on his extremely popular libertarian tumblr
- conza - Michael is an incredibly erudite Hoppean, and as an Australian he would provide a perspective that’s sorely missing now
All are smart, young, and active in online political discussions. I’d be happy to recommend more if you are interested, as there is happily no shortage of intelligent liberty-minded individuals on tumblr. But I believe these three are a solid start in adding a contrasting point-of-view to the current line-up, while further elevating the aggregate IQ of the tag’s curators.
Thanks for the consideration, and I appreciate what the tumblr staff does to promote political discourse.
As it stands, I’m the only
anti-statist anarchist of any kind to have served as a #politics editor. Let’s hope that changes. The tag could use a little less state-worship and a little more Rothbard.
A much-needed shake-up of Tumblr #Politics editors has taken place today, less than a day after I post this documenting another editor’s (Ryking) penchant for vile behavior (and echoing Jeff Miller’s offer to resign if Ryking would do the same), and a petition to remove the same editor was circulated (and received thousands of signatures in only a matter of hours).
Clearly, the Tumblr staff has acknowledged the problem… though Tumblr seems to have taken the throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater approach, as almost all editors have been replaced. Hopefully this means that the quality of the #Politics tag will improve as most of the bigger offenders are no longer editors.
The composition of the current crop of editors is improved, but certainly not ideal. Letterstomycountry happily remains. Although we disagree philosophically on certain issues, he tends to be fair and smart. Professor Ari Kohen should be a good addition. Our past misunderstandings and disagreements aside, he can certainly be counted on to promote intelligent, relevant, and serious posts. Huskerred is another welcome addition who has evolved over the last year or so to become quite the thoughtful and considerate blogger. However, as far as I can tell, he is the only editor who is neither a leftist/Democrat or corporate (statist) media. Further, every single editor is sympathetic and supportive to the state at least in some form or another. In fact, there don’t seem to be any actual (economic) libertarians or anarchists represented. And as an anarcho-capitalist, I may have been the first, but hopefully I’m not the last completely anti-statist editor of the tag.
Also, motherjones, who was part of the original batch of editors, has returned for a second go.
I think the tag would be more interesting and better served if individual bloggers - and not media entities - with a greater variety of political perspectives were editors.
In any case, I look forward to fewer posts like these making their way onto the #Politics tag and hope that the political discourse among us becomes much more civil.
“If you don’t like being insulted, then stop hurling insults at others. Or stop hypocritically complaining about it. But I guess asking you to stop being a hypocrite is like asking you to stop breathing.”
- Ryking, un-ironically
In another post, he claims: “for the most part I have never provoked any of the fights I’ve been in on Tumblr or anywhere else.”
Anonymous asked: How are politics editors picked? I read there's an algorithm that picks popular blogs who make popular posts.
No. There is no algorithm.
Editors of the #Politics tag are not chosen by how many followers a blog has or how many likes or reblogs a given blogger’s posts receives. If this were the case, mohandasgandhi and statehate and no doubt dozens of other blogs would have been selected well before I would have even been considered.
I don’t know what criteria the Tumblr staff use when assigning editors, but it is the Tumblr staff that makes the selection. And popularity is not the determining factor. In fact, “governmentgood,” for example, was selected as an editor only one day after the blog came into existence, hardly enough time to trigger any algorithm.
The only algorithm in place is how “Top Editor” is selected: the editor who promotes the most posts - not the most popular or the most intriguing or the most relevant or the most serious, just the most - is deemed “Top Editor” approximately the following day.
On my Absence, as well as a note on the #Politics Tag and its Editors
Apologies for my absence! The network has given us a very short turnaround for our last few episodes so I’ve been swamped at work. I’ll soon have a small break before my next episode starts shooting so I’ll hopefully be at it again in a few days.
In the meantime, I want to acknowledge that I have received your [many] messages regarding a certain top political editor. Since I have not been around, I cannot comment on whatever rude or vile remark he must have said this time. But I do support some of your efforts to request mohandasghandi be made editor in his stead (there are of course others I support, of whom I am more ideologically aligned, but I’m specifically responding to messages that have mentioned her). Although we disagree on a number of things politically, she has shown - by creating a separate non-political blog - a capacity to compartmentalize serious commentary from the unserious. This is a trait that is grossly lacking amongst many current #Politics editors, which has unfortunately rendered the curated #Politics tag mostly irrelevant. (See my regularly updated post for examples on the persistent unseriousness of the #politics tag). Further, she lends an international awareness that is also in short supply; and she seems to not make it a habit of using vulgarity and churlishness with those who may disagree.
As always, you can ask questions or leave comments here.
So if five of the last six posts promoted to #politics are to be believed, Huntsman is dropping out of the race tomorrow. Hopefully, a few more posts saying the same thing will be promoted, just so I can be sure.
Update: make that six of the last seven.
I leave the blog on queue for a few days and a Ron Paul war erupts on #politics.
Way to be the custodians of quality, guys.
libertarians asked: From the #politics tag: "For many, their biggest issue with Paul has to do with his Blame America First foreign policy positions. According to Paul, we were responsible for the jihadists crashing planes..." You would assume that at least people who get their news on the internet would realize the reality of blowback. How does reallyronpaul get promoted to that page?
I think you know the answer to that one…
Finally, I’m the top Politics editor because the posts I promote get the most likes and reblogs. I’d think such a simple fact would be evident to you but then… you’re a libertarian, so analytical thinking isn’t really your strong suit, is it?
That’s not actually how it works. Top Editor just denotes the editor who is most active in promoting posts. When your standards are low, it’s easy to promote a lot more posts than your peers.
And what, pray tell, is the disconnect?
He is against the wanton wasting of other people’s forcefully-extracted wealth. He’s not forcing anyone to pay for these jets; they are paid for with voluntary donations. And those who donate typically place high value in their candidate personally getting his message to the most people as possible, so this would not be considered waste by any of those who foot the bill. And any of those who do object have the ability to not pay, unlike taxpayers. And this, of course, ignores the fact that he tends to have many more speaking engagements than any other candidate. And, unlike most of the other candidates, he is employed. Private jets - actually, they are small, chartered jets - allow him to travel to his speaking destinations while, with the flexible scheduling of chartered flights, still maintaining his presence in Congress as an active, sitting Congressman. It would sometimes even be literally impossible for Paul, who takes as many as four flights in a day, to make as many commitments as he does using commercial flights (which wouldn’t be cheap either). Further, due to Ron Paul’s titanium knee (from a high school sports injury), using a chartered jet allows him to circumvent the requisite (undignified and time-consuming) TSA pat-down for every single flight.
I’m afraid your exasperation to highlight hypocrisy where there is none has caused you to promote an illogical smear to the politics tag.
I’ve brought up my disappointment with the persistent unseriousness of some of the posts promoted to the politics tag (see here, here, and here). (I also implored the other editors to “like” or “reblog” a post before or after promoting it in order to maintain transparency in the process - and maybe keep editors accountable for what they promote.)
Well, fellow editor Ryking, in addition to reigniting his obsession with slinging puerile insults in my direction, has lately been expressing disappointment as well, going so far as to petition his followers to demand Tumblr management remove whom he inaccurately calls “right-wing editors” from their posts:
Email email@example.com and ask that the Politics editor who promoted this garbage to the Politics page (Hipster Libertarian) be removed from her post. Right-wing trolling of the POTUS by libertarian trash does not represent the “best that Tumblr has to offer,” which is what editors are told to look for by Tumblr.
Frankly, all of the right-wing Politics editors (LA Liberty, Jeff Miller, Hipster Libertarian, Alex Holzbach) need to be removed and replaced with new ones; this current crop lacks diversity, seldom perform their job, but play favorites when they do with the same two or three right-wing trolls (none of whom have anything insightful to say).
This is a sentiment he repeated yesterday while, in typical fashion, casting racist aspersions and hurling insults (unfit behavior for someone featured in spotlight and serving as a #politics editor, but that is a topic for another post perhaps): “all of Tumblr’s right-wing editors should be replaced,” claiming that “standards for promoting posts are ludicrously low.”
Seeing as how I was personally mentioned as one “to be removed and replaced,” I feel I must respond.
I’m not sure where he can infer that any one of us “lack diversity” (certainly not any more or less than anyone else). Yes, certain bloggers tend to show up more than others but that is because certain bloggers are more active, and is true for the leftist bloggers as well. In fact, two of the top three contributors right now are sarahlee310 (who replaced leftist motherjones from the top three yesterday) and think-progress, with the third being the more centrist dc-decoder. (edit: hipsterlibertarian reminds me that, as I’ve mentioned before, I regularly peruse the “everything stream of the politics tag as well as a good dozen other tags keeping an eye out for new and worthy content.)
Does “lacking diversity” mean not promoting from beyond our inherent ideological scope. I have and will promote leftist bloggers (usually with regards to war, ending prohibition, concerns about the police state, capital punishment, etc.), but not leftist posts that I would disagree with. And I know I’m not the only non-leftist editor to do so. I do this for good reason, as I’ve said in a previous post:
“I do not pretend to be impartial, nor do I feel that it is my role as an editor to be. The other more left-leaning editors are probably better suited to judge the positive merits of a leftist post and promote it accordingly than I am. I know I would find it odd/frustrating if, for example, another editor unfamiliar with austrian economics or privatization or anarcho-capitalist philosophy promoted a post advocating or explicating those topics and the post was intellectually unworthy or, worse, factually incorrect (something they may not know, being relatively unfamiliar with the topics).”
If instead he means we are not diverse as editors, I’d counter that from within the already narrowed subset of four “libertarian” or non-leftist editors, we (if I may be so presumptuous as to label my peers) seem to range from alexholzbach’s republican with some libertarian leanings, to jeffmiller’s mainstream libertarian, to hipsterlibertarian’s ultra-minarchist libertarian, to my anarcho-capitalism (edit: Though I suppose that for anyone who paints all non-Democrats with the same, wide brush of “right-winger,” such a distinction would be difficult to make). Perhaps he laments that a full-on neo-con is not represented?
Regarding the charge that we “seldom perform [our] job” - I can only speak for myself on this one but it’s certainly true, as I’ve previously explained, that I do not promote a high volume of posts. I don’t view being an editor as some kind of competition in which I try to promote the most posts in order to cram my ideology down another’s gullet. Which is why I have never been “Top Editor” (unlike Ryking who seems to have taken permanent residence at the top spot since becoming an editor). In other words, I am very selective about what I promote. I do not consider this a shortcoming.
In any case, Ryking has lately taken it upon himself to serve as quality control of sorts, calling out posts he deems unfit for the tag. Although there is one case in which I do agree with him that something should not have been featured on the tag (and perhaps the one that prefaced his calling for our heads as well), his objections seem to be on ideological grounds.
But here’s the rub: Ryking is the same editor who promoted this post:
Does this, to echo Ryking’s concern, reflect the “best that Tumblr has to offer”? Would this not qualify as exhibiting “standards for promoting posts [that] are ludicrously low,” and moreso than a post in which an ideological opponent disagrees with the politics or conclusions?
Let’s review some more wholly unserious, pointless, irrelevant, untimely, unintellectual, and sometimes even outright vile posts that have found their way to the politics tag the last few weeks[regularly updated since mid-November], most of which were seemingly promoted by Ryking, peterfeld (seems to be the by far biggest offender of nonsensical posts, and often promotes his own posts), and other left-leaning editors.
So, then, perhaps 99% is too high a percentage if people who definitely do not belong to the “richest 1%” cannot participate with their own expression of disgust at corporatism without “invading”?
But I suppose if you really called your movement by the portion of the population that considers itself re-distributively communitarian in the way the proposed demands portray, you’d have the much less sympathetic monicker of “We are the 17%.”
Also, I’d like to point out that a certain #politics editor (I think it’s obvious which editor has a propensity for vileness) felt compelled to promote this post to the featured section of the tag - a post that boils down to “go f*ck yourselves, white libertarians.” Keep it classy.
Anonymous asked: Maybe you haven't realized this since you said you "don't", but an editor can't promote their own posts. These unhappy fools are accusing you of something you can't do even if you wanted to.
I know I’ve mentioned this to some of you personally, but I’d like to openly request that all editors please “like” (or “reblog”) a post before promoting it as a featured post.
It would be convenient if tumblr had a way to show what editor promoted which post.
I can’t imagine it’d be that hard to code this:
This was featured in #Politics by nameofeditor
But absent this, I think liking or reblogging immediately before (or after) a promotion would really help with transparency.
I don’t know if this happens with any other editors, but when my posts are featured (especially back-to-back as they are now) I get a number of… unhappy messages demanding to know why I keep promoting my own posts.
I do not promote my own posts to #politics. Seriously.
Unfortunately, without the aforementioned transparency, they have only my word.
Congrats and welcome to all three of you!
Noteworthy: a number of more “corporate” and “media” entities (Washington Examiner, National Journal, Mother Jones, The New Republic) who were editors are no longer editors. This makes sense as it seems more appropriate for the #politics tag to be curated by individuals.*
*Edit: seems UTNE is a magazine… too bad.