Tumblr founder David Karp has claimed that there are too many “jerks” making derogatory comments on rival sites and his blogging website is taking the “drive-by nastiness” out of social networking.
“It is very hard when you have comments under videos from jerks - it really hurts,” said Karp, referring to other sites. “We’ve taken a lot of work making Tumblr a nice environment.”
Tumblr allows people to “like” blog postings but there is less opportunity to post rude comments on a fellow user’s page. “When I am saying anything about you, I’m saying it on my page. If I’m being a jerk, I am being a jerk but your page can be pristine,” he told an audience of advertisers at the Cannes Lions festival of creativity.
“Even to send that little bit of hate takes 30 to 40 seconds,” he added, explaining that a user has to post a message in a postcard form that makes it less likely to be abusive. “All of these things really don’t allow for the drive-by nastiness.”
The 26-year-old sold his site to Yahoo for $1.1 billion (£xxx million) last month but carries little advertising at present. He said his site struck a chord with users because it wasn’t trying to operate a popularity contest, even though it has over 115 million blogs.
“We don’t share your stats, we don’t share your followers. Your performance isn’t published. There’s no shame about having only 2000 followers which I always thought was pretty gross on other sites.”
Tumblr has been criticised because the site has carried a lot of sexually explicit content but Karp maintained the site has invested in opt-in protective measures to safeguard young users. “If you’re a 14-year-old kid, you’re not going to run into that yukky stuff.”