Tumblr’s Andrew McLaughlin on Fostering Free Internet Expression Without the Nastiness

Interviews with people who shape our culture.
May 21 2012 2:25 PM

How Tumblr Squashed the Trolls

Tech executive Andrew McLaughlin on how the social network thwarts the nasty users who plague other sites.

Tumblr Logo.

Spend a few minutes scrolling through comments on YouTube and you come face to face with one of the maxims of the Web:  anonymity tends to enable the haters.  Users who don’t have to give their real identity can generate some pretty vicious diatribes.   

Somehow Tumblr seems to have mostly avoided this. The micro-blogging platform which just marked its fifth anniversary and hosts around 50 million blogs and more than 18 billion posts allows users to operate anonymously, but Tumblr Vice President Andrew McLaughlin says the vibe is far more affirming. 

McLaughlin recently sat down with Slate’s Jacob Weisberg to talk about how the culture on Tumblr flows from company founder and CEO David Karp and how the platform fosters experimentation and unleashes free expression in ways that Facebook doesn’t.

Advertisement

In the days ahead, look for more of our interview with Andrew McLaughlin, including how Tumblr walks a line on copyright issues and the censorship challenges posed by China. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

TODAY IN SLATE

Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

Even When They Go to College, the Poor Sometimes Stay Poor

Here’s Just How Far a Southern Woman May Have to Drive to Get an Abortion

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?

Behold

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The Procedural Rule That Could Prevent Gay Marriage From Reaching SCOTUS Again

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 3:53 PM Smash and Grab Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 20 2014 3:40 PM Keeping It in the Family Why are so many of the world’s oldest companies in Japan?
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 1:10 PM Women Are Still Losing Jobs for Getting Pregnant
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 5:03 PM Marcel the Shell Is Back and as Endearing as Ever
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.