It's so familiar a tale: An online community, once obsequiously friendly, turns nasty as it gets bigger. But the loss of innocence is hitting users of blogging service Tumblr especially hard. Perhaps it's because the audience, once limited to young New York hipsters in the social circle of founder David Karp. The latest cri de coeur comes from Silicon Alley Insider's Eric Krangel, who complains that Karp hasn't done enough to stem the tide of "anonybloggers" who "follow" users on the site in order to mock them. "Following" sounds a bit creepy, unless you know that its Tumblr slang for 'reading." Where's the button for banning anyone who deviates from the party line, users have started to whine. Would it be too much to ask Tumblr's fragile millennials to grow up instead?If you so desperately want an audience for what I'm sure is your boundless and inimitable wit, you're going to have to put up with the occasional heckler. Karp is a talented designer and developer, but there's no CSS or PHP code that will hack the incivility out of the human condition. Since nobody seems to be able to limit the intimate details of their personal lives to private channels of communication anymore, I recommend getting a therapist who will hold your deepest hopes and fears in confidence. I've found it can help.
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