Tumblr, Imgur struggle as Namecheap, WordPress reign in EFF's copyright 'bullies' list

They may be the home of hundreds of millions of online free speakers, but how Tumblr and Imgur work for their users' free speech may not be as strong as could be.

Imgur and Tumblr are not as good at protecting your freedom of speech than first thought, a new report by a leading privacy organization said.

Out of 13 major social outlets, video sites, blogging platforms, and domain registrants, the two more-often used services came out with the lowest scores — beating Facebook, Flickr, Vimeo, and Pinterest.

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The annual report by the Electronic Frontier Foundation focuses on free speech, and the copyright and trademark "bullies," in which the organization has documented numerous cases over the years. 

"As users choose which platforms will host their updates, writing, images, and videos, they ought to know which of these services have made explicit commitments to defend that speech against bullies that would try to take it down," the report said in its opening remarks.

While Imgur landed with two out of five, highlighting its counter-copyright infringement and trademark dispute policies, Tumblr had no stars. 

Tumblr was acquired by Yahoo in 2013, as was Flickr in 2005, which has four out of five stars.

The irony perhaps is that Tumblr and Imgur are open services that users tend to express themselves freely. Tumblr posts are reposted to Imgur, and vice-versa — both home to a wealth of animated images and hand-crafted original content.

Scoring in at the top of the category were Namecheap, a domain name registrar, and WordPress, a blogging platform, both landing with five out of five.

There is a caveat, however. "We should be very clear: we believe that these five evaluation criteria are floor, not a ceiling," the EFF said. "These are minimum standards for what a service can do to defend its users' speech against copyright and trademark bullies."

The privacy group often releases new reports under the "Who Has Your Back" moniker, including the more popular list that details government data requests by company.

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