Tumblr is what is known as a micro blogging social media platform, it is available through a browser or via an app downloaded to any mobile device. From Wikipedia “Tumblr is a microblogging platform and social networking website founded by David Karp and owned by Yahoo! Inc. The service allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog.”
When you sign up to Tumblr you can create your own blog, where you can post your own content or share others. It allows for others to follow your blog, or to comment or message you, or add to your blog. Tumblr can be a delightful platform if you like to follow creative arty folk, but it’s clearly only suitable for adults.
Even though Tumblr is rated 17+ on the iTunes Store, Tumblr’s Terms Of Service specify that under 13yr old’s are not allowed to use this service, but due to the amount of easily found pornography on this platform, you may want to restrict it use until your teen is old enough. Tumblr have set out their adult content policy very clearly on this page.
Self Harm Content
Tumblr is also known to have a large self harm community where young (mainly girls) can share techniques for self harm. Tumblr have banned many of the search terms for these communities but users simply create new search terms to replace them.
If you search for one of the most obvious terms for self harm this message will pop up. The problem is that users that want to connect around these type of self harm blogs, have created other search terms that are acronyms for self harming behaviours. (Not listing them here)
Adult Content Filters on your home network or computer.
If you have set up an adult content filter like www.opendns.com on your home modem or on the computer or mobile device it won’t work within Tumblr. There is however an adult content filter in Tumblr that will filter out some adult content, but it cannot be locked on, your teen can turn it off anytime. You can however block Tumblr if you have parental controls on your child’s device or through opendns.com. In my testing of this adult content filter a lot of adult content still showed up. It prevents searches for obvious adult terms but didn’t filter out swear words or images of adult content in other searches.
To set the Tumblr adult content filter.
Open a new search window within Tumblr, enter a search term, and scroll down to the padlock icon, click it and you will see it is now “locked” Note: You cannot prevent your teen from switching this off.
There are some settings that certainly help prevent the worst type of bullying and inappropriate content being shared to users accounts. If you have a Tumblr blog you can change some settings make inappropriate comments less likely. To find these setting Go to. Account/Settings/ click on your blog/s and set the account settings as below.
Disallow the “Ask” setting, this prevents other users from asking you questions, allowing questions can lead to bullying, this type of interaction is quite prevalent on other ask and answer platforms like AskFM. So turning off this setting helps prevent bullying. Also the submit posts can prevent another user sending you upsetting content. You could also set the “replies” to “off “if you don’t want any communication at all.
You can also hide your Tumblr blog from public search by setting the Directory setting (below) to off (grey) You can then give out the link to your blog to your friends, but not have it so that it will appear in the “discovery” directory. This essentially makes your Tumblr account private to friends only.
If you need to block another user in Tumblr you can do it in the “Settings” window of your blog by clicking on the Pencil Edit icon right of “Blocked Tumblrs” and add their Tumblr url, or block them from their comment.
From your mobile or web dashboard, open the user’s blog by clicking or tapping on the avatar, then go to the user menu (the little human), and select “Block.”
From your mobile or web inbox, click or tap the three dots, then “Block” (or if you’re on Android, click or tap the big fat X on any message).
For more on messaging and blocking anonymous users visit Tumblr Help Here:
Please let me know if comments if I have missed something or you have a question.
Leonie Presents Cyber Safety Talks for schools, business, and community groups.