Content, conduct, and apologies in Tumblr fandom tags


  • Indira Neill Hoch University of Illinois at Chicago



Apology rituals, Conduct control, Social media, Let's Plays, YouTube fandom


The architecture of Tumblr differs substantially from many other social media platforms, such as Facebook, because there are no personal profiles and social connections are not made public. Because Tumblr's architecture lacks formal grouping structures, tags, traditionally thought of as a way of organizing resources, may take on functions otherwise associated with communities even though the affiliation is looser. Content analysis was performed to investigate content and conduct norms in two specialized fandom tags on Tumblr. This research compares the circulation of sexually suggestive material, reproaches, and apology rituals in posts tagged "zoethian" and "sjips." Even though these two tags originate from similar source material (YouTube videos produced under the Yogscast umbrella), different standards of behavior and shared content emerge among participants, which are assessed in light of the increasingly close contact and overlap between media producers and fans in social media spaces. Although the data set is from 2013, and thus describes a slightly different version of Tumblr, it serves as an historical capture of the site and behaviors from that time period.

Author Biography

Indira Neill Hoch, University of Illinois at Chicago

PhD candidate