Deleted posts reappearing on my blog -- anybody else?



  • Jennie

    The tumblr reblog chain model (which bdsmlr follows) is based on the idea that others can reblog your posts, and their posts still exist even if you delete yours, so all data contained in the original post still exists on the server (and always has).

    Several months, probably over a year ago and unrelated to the Great Crash of 2021, there was a policy change (or clarification) where the original posts no longer showed up and you got the "blue box" if the original post was deleted on one of your reblogs. At the time, they (staff) stated that the data was still there, and they were working on ways to recover the metadata, captions, tags, etc., for everyone who reblogged the content. So again, all the data is retained. You can find that conversation in one of the threads on here.

    There's also how the data is stored -- it's first pushed to the cloudflare servers, where it's propagated to the dash of everyone who follows you. After hitting cloudflare, it then moves to the actual bdsmlr servers/archives, where it goes actually into your blog. (If you post something and look at your blog, it's several seconds to a few minutes before it appears there, even though it's on the dash). This delay in posting also comes with a delay in deleting, and the two can fall out of sync (especially if there's database connectivity issues.) If it's a video, that data also has to be retained for people viewing it on the dash, otherwise people will complain that the site is broken when they see the preview image but can't play it because it was deleted (this is a no-win situation for the site).

    So, it's not a matter of them nefariously keeping things you chose to delete; it's the very model the site is based on. It could be done better (if there are no reblogs actually delete the post for example), but that could be said about a lot of the site features.

    I just re-read the entire ToS for the site, and there's nothing in there about data retention. The Privacy Policy (which I could not find a link to in-site but google pointed me to it) also makes no mention of data retention.

    So, back to your question: I'll ask around in-site, and see if anyone else has experienced this. My best (but not informed) guess is that they are doing some database maintenance, and as they replay the journal or something similar, you're getting zombie posts.


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  • Kermit82

    I have a test blog and around a year ago mistakenly posted to it instead of my main blog.  I deleted the posts, however at some point in the last couple of months since the meltdown, the posts all reappeared.  I deleted them all again and as of right now they are still deleted.  So I'd agree that it's likely that they restored something from backup, particularly for older posts, and that there is also likely to be some kind of soft delete mechanism.

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  • RugRollers

    Thanks Jennie, for clarifying this. Really very much appreciated!

    We didn't come here from tumblr but from a subscription site where a basic level of privacy was presumed (barring tech incompetence, which, never mind....). The reason we never tried tumblr was precisely the total exposure. We later learned that our teen was traumatized by explicit content on tumbr, so...

    But this site seemed safer since the bdsm part would at least scare away moralistic tourists (and unsuspecting youth). But also, yes, I saw that deleted posts were no longer displayed when reblogged, so I assumed that was structural. I failed to read the TOS. All the other sites we've tried or considered gave at least nominal rights to content producers, so I didn't think to check.

    Too bad. I'd say this site might be more conducive to real people if there was a little safety from outside inspection and more control over content. Even a small subscription fee that would fund better site management and rid us of these horrid ads for precisely the sort of sex we don't want. Just my worthless two cents. Clearly the user community here has no power or even access to the people who run the site. That bodes ill. Gives me a touch of ptsd from the flameout of our original site.

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  • Jennie

    From a legal standpoint, they probably have to save everything (including metadata and unpublished content like drafts) that comes across the servers. That information may be required to investigate any CP, trafficking, or revenge posts (and those do occur). It's much better to turn everything over to the legal authorities than shrug and say "We deleted it". The big content providers can afford a drawn-out legal fight; this site can't, even if they're on the correct side of the law.

    The ToS/PP do give you specific rights, but data retention is the thing that is not mentioned. There is no implicit transfer of copyright mentioned in the ToS (not that such a clause would hold up in court anyway). Large parts of the ToS were also obviously not written by a lawyer.

    They could handle the data better, no doubt. But this site really was a hobbyist project until the Tumblr Migration of 2018. Following the Great Crash of 2021 they started putting updated development and operation standards into place. That's still in the build-out phase, so we haven't seen the fruits of that labor yet.

    And I agree that having a better payment mechanism than Coinbase Commerce for the subscription fee would be ideal, and probably encourage more people to sign up for ad-free accounts.

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