I know a lot of authors have made the move from blogspot to tumblr (or are hanging out in both places). I get asked enough about how to use tumblr and how to make tumblr use fun and safe (for your mental health, etc), that I thought I would put together a post. If you guys like it enough, I'll make it a series! So first thing's first! If you have not already installed XKit 7, you should do that immediately, here! XKit is a really useful extension that allows you to modify the way you interact with your dash. There are installation instructions in the link. Once you've installed it the top of your dashboard should look like this:
The extensions gallery! You are free to fiddle with things, of course! But what we're going to focus on today are blacklist, and postblock. So just scroll through the extension gallery until you find those three, hit the install button, and then return to the 'My XKit' tab.
So before we talk about blacklist we should talk about tags! Because I am on tumblr a lot, I notice that lots of people don't use them, and you should. Tags are really important, both from an archival perspective and for making the experience of tumblring for your followers as safe and not stressful as possible.
Blacklist basically acts like a catch net for posts with particular words, either in the posts or in the tags. So for people who are triggered by posts about sexual assault, or racism, or food because of disorders or trauma, tagged posts are really important. The accepted format for tagging on tumblr is usually ' xx trigger cw' or 'xx trigger tw' i.e. trigger content warner or trigger warning.
Things you should tag for:
- sexual assault/rape
- child abuse
- body horror
Okay I'm gonna stop here and really emphasize why you should tag for gifs. Because we all loves gifs. Gifs are awesome! THEY MADE THE INTERNET COOL. Gifs can also trigger epileptic seizures in some people. Not all gifs, and not all epileptics. But it's really useful to just tag all gif sets with 'gif' - most people who get triggered by them will have them blacklisted.*
It's also not a bad idea to put out a call to your followers and ask them what they want you to tag for. Some people have weird things that upset and or trigger them, and they will enjoy following you a lot more and resent you a lot less if you tag for them. Tumblr has also finally started retaining tags that you use a lot so it won't take long to tag anyway!
But back to the blacklist! To use it, click on it in your My Xkit tab, and scroll down to this:
Add whatever you please at the bottom! (Shhh, I have a Sherlock problem in that I hate his face. Also the second one is how you get rid of ads! Was super helpful when Tumblr kept advertising The Purge.) Assuming things are tagged on your dash, anything that is stressful and that you've put into the black list (or that you are just straight up tired of seeing) should disappear. Tumblr Savior works equally well! And is actually what I use. You can learn more about it here.
For Postblock you don't need to go into the My XKit tab. If you've installed it, just go straight to your dash.
Postblock is incredibly helpful if you've written a post that's suddenly gotten a lot of traction, and the notes are taking over your dash. Or if you find a post harmful, triggering, alarming, boring or just straight up hate it. But your friends keep reblogging it! It keeps showing up everywhere! You blacklist every possible tag combination and it somehow STILL GETS THROUGH.
Postblock is here to help! Go to the post in question on your dash. What you are looking for is the stop sign hand with a paper in front of it, circled in the picture below.
Click it on the post, and that post should never appear on your dash again. The notes attached to it should also disappear! And no matter who reblogs it, even if they are your favorite person, you will never know!
I hope this post was helpful! I find both of those extensions intensely useful to curating my experience and making it as healthy and fun as possible. (Remember when Hannibal started airing. I used blacklist liberally). If you have any questions, or want to see this continued as a series please let me know in the comments!