Is 4chan’s Hashtag War on Tumblr a Hoax?

tumblr_n87t5nTvDq1r8yiuno1_500Tumblr Users woke up this morning to a relentless onslaught of posts detailing a supposed 4chan “attack” on some of Tumblr’s most beloved tags. Messages like the one shown to the right has collected over 50,000 notes in what looks like one of the most brutal attacks on Social Justice blogs Tumblr has ever seen. Tags such as #LGBTQ and #BodyPositivity have been blacklisted as being filled with Gore and Hyper-sexualized imagery. But is it even real? I boldly searched through these tags and found nothing even remotely gore-y or shocking (And that’s with the explicit content and recent post settings enabled mind you). What I did find, however, were scores of posts relaying the same warning over and over and over again. Some even listed URL’s of specific blogs that Tumblr Users ought to block to keep their dash clean, but many of these URL’s were fake. Have we gravely misunderstood what type of attack it was? Because whether these “infected tags” are real or not, the warnings themselves have undoubtedly pressured thousands of Tumblr Users into rejecting some of the most popular tags they hold dear. The list of tags is a long one. Some of these posts include tags as seemingly arbitrary as #sherlock. The worst part? Tumblr users have reblogged the warnings under the impression they’re keeping their followers safe when they very well may be doing exactly what the trolls want, making Tumblr a scary place. There are posts now circulating that are blacklisting “selfies” as well. It’s like, what the hell is there left to do on Tumblr???

There still isn’t any guarantee this attack is fake or an elaborate ruse. Even if it is real, it may have already been circumvented with the help of tumblr’s flagging system which would mean it’s more or less safe to visit these tags now. Still, sensitive users are advised to heed warnings. I doubt the entire community of 4chan or /b/ (as the specific group on 4Chan is called), is at fault for this. The larger community shouldn’t be held accountable for the ill-willed actions of a few. But whatever this thing is, it’s undoubtedly left its mark on Tumblr today. Be wary folks.

Update: Many Tumblr Users have messaged me that the tag spamming did in fact happen, but more so yesterday on July 4th. There is also talk circulating that the group has planned a 2nd attack which will be held on August 4th.

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