What is Tumblr?

By Internet Matters Team on

A cross between WordPress and social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, Tumblr gives users the ability to create blogs and share them with followers and friends across a number of social platforms.

It is also known as short-form microblogging platform and host more than 425 million blogs and is ranked 7th among the leading social platforms worldwide. (source: Statista)

A quick summary of what you need to know about Tumblr to protect your child from makes of Zift app.

What is the minimum age for Tumblr?

Tumblr T& Cs say you have to be 13 to use the platform.

Why is Tumblr popular with children?

Quotes from users:

  • “All social media’s combined into one”
  • “Where your interest connect you with people”
  • “The Wikipedia of social networks!”

With over 167 billion Tumblr post on the platform, it offers children a place to discover people with like-minded interest or explore topics which may be quite niche. It also brings together the blogging and social media under one roof to give young people a way to get real-time feedback on what they post and create a community around a common interest or topic.

What can you do on the app?

  • Create a blog and post videos, photographs and links to other websites
  • Share your content with friends and followers
  • Users can subscribe to follow blogs on the platform which show up on their Dashboard and reply or like the individual post (just like Facebook)
  • You can post blog entries just on the platform or also on other social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Is it safe for my 13-year-old?

There are a limited number of safety features so it is important to take some time to review that type of content that people are posting and how this may affect your child.

Limited Privacy settings

All posts are public by default and there is no way to make accounts private

Features sensitive content

Although sensitive content can be filtered in ‘Safe Mode’ there is a lot of explicit content that young people can have access to through doing searches on the platform.

How can I protect them from inappropriate content?

If your child is using Tumblr make sure they aware of some of the following safety features and how to report any content that may upset them. Also, make them aware of the content that they may see and advise them what actions to take if they run into issues on the platform.

It may be a good idea to review the platform together to see what people are posting and if the safety features are sufficient to support your child.

Features you can use to make the platform safer for your young people

Tumblr Safe Mode feature

In 2017 Tumblr introduced Safe Mode feature which allows users to hide apply content filters to hide sensitive content on their Dashboard (this is where users can see posts from blogs that they follower and interact with other users on the site). The feature is an opt-in setting rather than opt-out.

When Safe Mode is on Tumblr adds a screen over any content that it has identified as sensitive in nature. If users are over 18 they can click through to see the content.

It does mean that the content is not totally removed from a user’s feed so could still be accessed.

Image of Safe Mode on Tumblr

Blocking users

Like other platforms, users are able to block other users who may be sending unwanted messages, reblogs or follows. There are a number of ways you can do this which are detailed here.

Please note that although users can be blocked they can still see the content that the users in posting as all post are public.

Reporting abuse on Tumblr

Any content that breaks Tumblr community guidelines can be reported through an online form on the platform – see here.

To report a post or blog click on the share icon (paper airplane) and choose “Report”. This will open the form where you can add details about the issue.

Once a report has been sent Tumblr will review the report and decide on what action should be taken. If they determine that the content does not break community guidelines it may not be removed.

The list includes content that can be reported includes the harm of minors, confusion or impersonation, suicide or self-harm, hate speech violation, suspected terrorism, gore, mutilation or bestiality, violent content or threat, and harassment.

You can also visit their support help center to report wider issues experienced on the platform