The first user of the beta Posts+ feature on Tumblr received death threats.
“I felt like the sacrificial lamb, because they didn’t announce Post+ beforehand and only gave it to a few people, which landed me in the crosshairs of a very pissed-off user base when I’m just trying to pay off medical bills by giving people the option to pay for content,” Kaijuno told TechCrunch. “I knew there’d be some backlash because users hate any sort of change to Tumblr, but I thought that the brunt of the backlash would be at the staff, and that the beta testers would be spared from most of it.”
Testing beta software always comes with risks. This is often made clear in some form of beta testing agreement. To state the obvious, it isn’t usually the case that the risk comes in the form of a rabid community of users threatening your life. Tumblr has a notoriously committed community that can be very critical of any change to their beloved platform. While users can be hostile towards those who make changes to their favorite software, I’ve never seen this sort of vitriol directed at beta testers who are trying out the changes.1
As someone who was a QA Manager for 10 years, I can assure you I’ve seen my share of consternation about software changes, particularly from beta testers. ↩︎