hey! i wanted to say i respect your position on not getting involved in discourse and not posting it here and wanted to know if you had any advice for how others can follow suit? im not involved in discourse and dont go seeking it out but i still end up seeing a lot of it on my dash anyway and id rather not. ty
Hello anon, thanks for the question.
Mainly what it comes down to is a lot of blacklisting, unfollowing, and blocking without remorse. I’ll break it down into the different ways the discourse comes up and how you can avoid it.
If someone you follow has suddenly started posting discourse that you
- agree with but still don’t want to see, blacklist or ts whatever discourse tags they use; if they don’t use any tags send them a polite ask requesting that they do. If they say yes, blacklist said tags. If they refuse, unfollow them.
- disagree with but don’t consider it to be so terrible that it’s a dealbreaker, follow the above steps. if their opinions ever do get to a place where you feel that they are a dealbreaker, unfollow them. if it’s particularly severe, block them (which will automatically cause you to unfollow them as well)
- disagree with and consider to be so terrible that you never want anything to do with the person again, block them immediately.
An issue you might encounter (or are possibly currently dealing with) is having to reconcile finding out that someone you have followed or known for years and liked and even respected actually holds some really disgusting views. The fact that you liked them and previously had a high opinion of them can cloud your judgment and make you hesitate in unfollowing/blocking them even when they start posting things on a regular basis that cause you stress, harm you emotionally/mentally, or just otherwise make your dash a shitty place to be. From experience I can tell you that hesitating in unfollowing/blocking these people is only prolonging the inevitable. They’re not going to all of a sudden stop thinking disgusting things or posting about them and you’re not all of a sudden going to stop being hurt by those things. The fact that you liked having them on your dash before does not change the fact that you dread having them on it now and it’s what’s happening now that matters. If you want to unfollow or block someone and the only thing holding you back is how much you used to like having them on your dash, consider this your permission to unfollow them immediately and find new people you’re more suited to.
If someone you follow has started reblogging discourse in order to call it out and you
- agree with them but don’t want to see, block whoever they’re calling out and blacklist whatever discourse tags the person you follow is using. if they don’t use tags, ask them to politely. if they say yes, blacklist said tags. if they refuse, consider whether this untagged discourse is worth unfollowing them over. if it is, unfollow them.
- agree with them but are torn between not wanting to see the discourse and wanting to be aware of gross people on tumblr so you can block them, be aware of your mental health at all times and whether or not seeing these things on your dash is getting to be too much. if it is, follow the previous bullet point. if not, blacklist the name of the person/people being called out and then block them.
- disagree with them but not so terribly that it’s a dealbreaker, blacklist whatever discourse tags they use. if they don’t use tags, politely ask them to. if they say yes, block said tags. if they refuse, unfollow them.
- disagree with them and consider their opinion to be so terrible that you never want anything to do with the person again, block them.
If discourse has suddenly started showing up in tags you track/frequent that you
- agree with but don’t want to see, blacklist the discourse tags the poster uses; if the poster does not use any discourse tags but frequently posts things you DO want to see in the tag send them an ask politely requesting that they start using discourse tags. if they do, blacklist said tags. if they refuse, decide whether you care more about seeing their other posts or not seeing the discourse. if it’s the latter, blacklist their username or flat-out block them.
- disagree with but not so terribly that it’s a dealbreaker and the poster frequently posts things you DO want to see, blacklist the discourse tags the poster uses; if the poster does not use any discourse tags, consider asking them to start using them. if you do not want to ask or do not feel comfortable doing so, blacklist the poster’s name. if you ask and they agree, black list said tags. if you ask and they refuse, blacklist the username or block the poster.
- disagree with and consider to be so terrible that you never want anything to do with the person again, block them. even if they make really pretty edits or awesome art or whatever, it’s not worth it.
And in general it’s a good idea to blacklist or block:
- the actual word ‘discourse’
- any ___ discourse tags (e.g. ‘fandom discourse’, ‘ace discourse’, ‘bi discourse’, etc)
- the words/tags ‘exclusionist’ and ‘inclusionst’ + ‘exclusionists’ and ‘inclusionists’
- anyone with the word ‘discourse’ in their username or blog description
- anyone whose blog seems to be 100% solely dedicated to discourse
- anyone with the word ‘aphobe’ in their username or blog description
- anyone who posts discourse in positivity tags or other non-discourse tags
- anyone who refuses to tag discourse
- anyone you see suicide baiting, sending death threats, or otherwise harassing ‘discoursers’ or just random people they disagree with
Beyond all that, you just want to start following people who have the same stance on this as you do and are dedicated to not getting involved and not giving a platform to some of the toxic, abusive voices out there. If you want to engage in serious discussions about some of the issues that discoursers (badly) touch on there are plenty of blogs around who do it in a calm, rational, well thought out, and non-reactionary manner. And if you want nothing to do with any of those topics then there are also plenty of people on tumblr who are very solid about not posting about them at all. It’s just a matter of finding them.