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It Wasn’t Hacked, You Weren’t Crazy: Tumblr Got a Little Weird Last Night

The great amalgamated beast that is Tumblr shivered in its sleep last night, but did the shaking of its mighty rainbow tinted hackles cause the strange reblogs and seemingly permanent posts that plagued many users, or did the creature’s stirrings merely communicate the terror of its userbase? Do past and future, nay, causality itself even have an effect on the slumbering giant that scientists have determined is clearly, but inexplicably, Tumblr’s physical avatar on the material plane, manifest in deep inside a cave on the outskirts of a small desert town?

Have I been listening to to much Welcome to Night Vale? I mean, yes, but lets talk about what happened on Tumblr last night.

Many Tumbler users noticed a whole suite of weird behavior from the site in the wee hours of last night. Accounts began to spontaneously reblog seemingly random posts from across the whole of Tumblr, some of which could not be deleted by the user. Some of these reblogs were even of the not safe for work variety, which I’m sure was a particular annoyance to anyone who has their Tumblr set to automatically post to Facebook or Twitter. But if you are worried about your personal information, you can at least breathe easy: a Tumblr spokesperson told TechCrunch:

Earlier this morning, an infrastructure failure lasting roughly fifteen minutes led posts created in this window to become corrupt. No data was lost, but this has been causing inconsistent behavior for these affected blogs. Our engineering team is working quickly to correct the situation.

Even if the random posts didn’t affect your blog particularly, you might have seen some of the appearing on your Tumblr feed. I saw a number of things in my feed this morning from blogs that I don’t even follow. Tumblr’s people are on the case, however, tweeting this around 11:30 this morning:

Tumblr’s Twitter and official Tumblr blog have not been updated since. If you’re worried about porn on your blog, I suggest you turn off automatic posting to social networks and keep an eye on it. If you’re actually amused by the tiny slices of completely random Tumblr posts on your dash, well, now that I’ve raised that possibility I’m sure someone is working on a script to make that an actual website or plugin, or even a Tumblr blog.

(via TechCrunch.)


  • Mark Brown

    And the award for best opening paragraph of a newsblog post goes to. . .

  • Lisa Liscoumb

    If it wasn’t non-fiction it could be entered in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. :)

  • Anonymous

    I love how people are always complaining about tumblr, but as soon as massive failures start to happen they’re quick to blame someone else. No, it isn’t the “evil” Yahoo, no, it isn’t the “evil” hackers, it’s just tumblr being tumblr. Every time they screw up (which happens approximately every time they release an “update”), something terrible happens and it’s always tumblr’s fault.

    On the plus side most of the stuff I saw was benign (I had a friend who got flooded with hentai) and of the two phantom reblogs I found only one was of dubious content and all of it is now gone.

  • Charlie

    Night Vale is awesome though.

  • Anonymous

    I found this amusing actually, because for a few blogs and for a brief window of time, the figurative bouncers we all have lined up at the door protecting the version of Tumblr we choose to interact with went on break, and all of Tumblr got let in to the party. Tumblr’s an interesting site because you can customize it so much. One persons’ Tumblr experience can be so different from another’s, but everyone is still on the same site. That’s why we have things like Tumblr fandoms. While I was annoyed while this was happening, now I think it was a nice reminder that my dash is not the only dash out there.

  • Jade_Eyes

    Glad to know it wasn’t just me.

  • revolutionaryjo

    But the real question is what Carlos the scientist has to say about the matter.

  • Mordicai

    Oh! I just assumed I had gotten drunker than I thought I forgotten about reblogging that Felicia Day gif set. I mean I like her, but that isn’t normally my style.

  • Pamela

    I really wish Tumblr would inform their users about snafus, you know, when they’re actually happening. I have the feeling all of their engineers were asleep while it was going insane, and the poor jerk who came into the office first this morning was the one who had to send out the messages.

    I mean, it’s not like I’m paying for the service or anything, but huge malfunctions and downtime just don’t look good to potential advertisers, even if your user base doesn’t pay for it.

  • Rachael

    The only thing about this that irks me is that tumblr insists it was a small number of blogs when it wasn’t. I still have a post in my ‘likes’ that I can’t get rid of.