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Be Very Afraid Of Tumblr & Other Blogging Sites

(23 Posts)
AntiAna999 Wed 06-Jun-12 15:37:38

I'm a very new member. I've done a search and this topic doesn't seem to have been covered except in the occasional passing reference. Apologies if it has and I have missed it.


This is a blogging website. That means that a member (such as my DD) can very easily set up her own blog. Nothing wrong with that you might think. They can post funny messages, charming pictures, gifs, exchange views on their favorite TV progs. My DD is a frequent Tumblr user. It was only when she started to have various problems that I took an interest in what can be found on Tumblr. For starters, plenty of porn. But I only mention that in passing because that part of it hasn't impacted us. Many kids with depression, self-harm issues and eating disorders set up blogs on TUMBLR. Some believe this is a form of therapy - and maybe for some of them it is. Some of the blogs promote anorexia as being a life-style ("pro-ana") others chronicle their experience of it. The point of TUMBLR seems to be to feel popular, by getting other members to "follow" you, by making your blog as interesting as possible, by re-posting interesting content. So where you end up is with dozens of blogs posting images of emaciated girls and/or self-harm, all following each other and re-posting the same content. It seems to me that the blogging is an addiction as much as the underlying illness (though in itself a less harmful one) and as far as I can see, spending all one's free time doing this is not therapeutic at all, it's only going to wind them up even more.

I've contacted TUMBLR myself over this and they're not very helpful - they say they have "recently become aware of the issue" and will start to remove such content "when the time is right" - I take this to meant they are not going to take any notice until a few of their members have starved themselves or bled to death after continually provoking each other with these images and messages. Online giants like Facebook are going to bend over backwards to avoid being criticised for this sort of thing. But a smaller company like TUMBLR, keen to increase its user-base, has no such qualms.

My advice is (a) BAN TUMBLR and other blog sites until they can guarantee child-friendly content. (b) If you can't and your DD is a member, insist on knowing their blog name and viewing it regularly - make sure they do not have a secret one. (c) Find a way to restrict usage to a reasonable period of time each day - this can usually be done very easily through your wireless router. (d) switch off your router at night. (e) Go to the Opendns site and read how you can very easily monitor and filter all of your household internet traffic, free of charge.

Spread the word. TUMBLR is not a safe site for our children.

sumsumsum Wed 06-Jun-12 15:46:44

Thanks.....I'll look into this. I'd heard about these issues. Anyone else had direct experience?

pinkpyjamas Thu 14-Jun-12 01:19:06

I agree the Tumblr can be a very abusive environment for young people.

The self harm and pro ana elements are rife.
Anonymous posters often suggest the blog author hurts themselves, or worse.
Other bloggers encourage each other in their obsessions and addictions.
It encourages authors to blow their issues up out of proportion and over-dramatise their situations.
They can get caught up in portraying their online persona, playing to their 'followers' and wallowing in self pity.
All accompanied by trite memes/gifs/quotes/reblogs.

It's all quite vile.

It is not a place for anyone under the age of 18 imo - and then for only the emotionally stable and robust.

AntiAna999 Sat 16-Jun-12 11:28:29

I'm so glad to come across someone else with the same views. Vile is just the right word! I believe I have got to grips with my own DD's situation. We ration internet access for her and her 2 brothers, and put further restrictions on certain kinds of site. Also I monitor her blog (though I feel as if I'm snooping and it hurts when I read some of the things she writes about me).

I posted on here to raise awareness. I believe this site is every bit as bad as Habbo Hotel, which has been in the news recently, but seems to be more under people's radar than that one. I would be grateful for any assistance or suggestions in "spreading the word".

Tee2072 Sat 16-Jun-12 11:31:00

I think the difference is that Habbo was/is aimed at teenagers. Tunbler is not.

Like all internet sites, parental supervision is the key.

Tee2072 Sat 16-Jun-12 11:51:55

I just looked at Tumblr's T&Cs. Like Facebook, you have to be 13 to join.

So either kids are lying about their birthdays, or their parents are helping them, or they are over 13.

If you child is on Tumblr and under 13...why?

AntiAna999 Wed 27-Jun-12 14:28:43

It is 13-18 year old "children" I am worried about - children may be the wrong description but my child will always be my child. Tumblr is VERY popular with this age group - as to whom it is AIMED at, who can say? These sites want more than anything else to increase their membership numbers any way they can because that is what will increase their valuation.

I agree that parental supervison is important (though with the best will in the world, it is hard to police every element of a teenager's use of the internet). My strong advice is to just BLOCK this site on your router, just the same as you would porn sites. Call this supervision if you will.

Tass1 Fri 29-Jun-12 10:12:22

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Tamlev13 Wed 18-Jul-12 11:28:23

Oh jeez, attack the big companies because porn exists, seriously?
Porn exists, deal with it, you had sex to have kids, they're gonna have sex

pookamoo Wed 18-Jul-12 11:32:42

Tamlev It isn't the porn that is the issue here. Read the thread.

24HourPARDyPerson Wed 18-Jul-12 11:37:39

oh jeez tamlev talk about missing the point hmm rtft

Thanks for the information AntiAnn it's a minefield it really is.

proval Mon 22-Jul-13 14:25:45

Honestly, you guys are looking at this from a very black and white point of view. I, myself, am a tumblr user and I admit, my blog isn't necessarily child-friendly. You should actually experience tumblr to know what you guys are talking about. You guys have a very uneducated POV. First of all, tumblr doesn't promote self-harm. As a matter of fact, it says so in the TOS. There are DEFINITELY images of people with cuts and bruises on this site, but it's not done in a promoting-fashion. A lot of people come onto tumblr to express themselves and say how they feel and what they need to say. And I'm sorry to break it to you, but the world isn't a "child-friendly" and "happy-go-lucky" place. Honestly, tumblr will never be child friendly. And I like it that way. Children shouldn't be on tumblr in the first place. Monitor them. Because tumblr users will do anything to make the company stay NSFW. Sorry, guys! It ain't gonna happen!

MultipleMama Mon 05-Aug-13 00:57:28

I have a tumblr account. I use it regularly. I personally love for loads of reason and honestly for free porn pictures etc but I wouldn't allow my kids on it until they are old enough (16 in my opinion) for the same reasons OP listed. I'm old enough but kids certainly aren't.

There are vile things on there but there are also "pro-ana" and self harm blogs everywhere on the net, all you need is a search engine to find them. You can't ban every site because of it. That's silly and they can't monitor everything but I believe as soon as they are reported (no porn blogs though excluding vile rape ones etc) should be deleted. That's easily done and should enforce it.

Hopefully if we educate our kids about these sites and what's on them, they would report/ignore them too. I hope.

MultipleMama Mon 05-Aug-13 01:00:45

Oh and I completely agree with proval.

watchcat1 Tue 29-Oct-13 23:49:39

I am 18 years old. I myself, have been a tumblr user since the age of 16. Tumblr acts as a hub for the quieter teens to interact with people their age group, people who share the same interests, and even find new interests. Tumblr can also sometimes act as a learning hub, with often interesting facts posts popping up. Yes, nobody is denying there is porn on the site, but who says porn is a bad thing? Sex is a perfectly natural thing and there is a blacklist extension you can add for the site which allows you to block out words you dont want to see. As for self harming, when you search for tags such as 'self harm', a link appears for their counselling page, with links to useful hotlines and advice pages. The people at tumblr care a lot about their users and are fully aware of the porn and negative self harm on the site, and they DO NOT ENCOURAGE IT. Overall in my opinion, tumblr is a safe environment which opens you up to new things and new people, and helps quiter kids feel like they have an importance, although i certainly wouldnt reccomend this site to anybody under 13 anyway. Id just like to inform you of the facts before you start blurting out your opinions.

Rosencrantz Tue 12-Nov-13 01:13:02

Stop trying to get a website to protect your children. You protect your children.

Tumblr is a website designed for adults. If you don't like your child using it, don't let them.

octopusinastringbag Wed 27-Nov-13 19:35:03

It's easy enough to block it on most routers then you can prevent access via all devices. Just took me a few seconds to see how to do it on our router and I'm not a technical person. We have to trust our children though - but I don't trust tumblr so have blocked it. You'll probably hear the resulting slanging match when DD gets home and finds out....

DadOnIce Mon 06-Jan-14 12:08:50

Why do so many Tumblr sites have "fuck yeah" in the name? is this a Thing?

blueshoes Mon 06-Jan-14 12:28:05

OP: "Online giants like Facebook are going to bend over backwards to avoid being criticised for this sort of thing. But a smaller company like TUMBLR, keen to increase its user-base, has no such qualms."

TUMBLR is owned by Yahoo.

For younger children, it makes sense to block access to avoid accidentally stumbling on dodgy content. But for older children, who learn how to get around controls, it is better to talk to them as well.

MultipleMama Sun 16-Feb-14 10:43:36

DadOnIce - It's a phrase. Means awesome, brilliant but in a much cooler way for young adults to use. So, fuckyeahjacobyshaddix is a blog or tumblr account dedicated to how awesome or just generally a blog dedicated to band singer Jacoby Shaddix.

smotheroffive Thu 04-Jun-15 14:24:57

I am interested in finding out more about tumblr and happened upon this thread, which has served well as an opener.

.. can any underage minor set up any accounts they like despite the underage material that is easily accessible?

I completely understand both views of wanting to protect children from porn and being drawn into a world where negative self-image/harm/pornography and adult discussion is readily available, but also the need to arm children with the sense, honesty and discussion/learning around such things to keep them safe and trust them, but we wouldn't be taking out x-rated movies to show our 14 years olds would we? and this does seem a bit like this, because of ease of access to everything. They are minors and can be corrupted by on-line materials as well as unsafe 'followers' and other anonymous users.

Do companies have no obligation to keep 'adult' content from minors? In terms of sign ups for email account (requiring parental permission, etc), to publication it seems of virtual diaries, which used to be secret and personal now out there for the world to see and follow?

The biggest pitfall is, like all relationships i think, feeling safe in them, when they are potentially extremely harmful.

So what line to take?

gradyt Thu 25-Jun-15 08:13:46

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

eliphant Sat 27-Jun-15 17:54:11

I have Tumblr accounts and hardly use them. I use FB and Whatsapp mainly to keep contact with friends overseas. I have seen a lot of disturbing stuff on Tumblr like near-paedophilic stuff of teenage girls in sexually suggestive stuff, rape porn like stuff, things like that. And of course the anorexic stuff as well. It's not the best site for people to hang about and depend on as a substitute for a social life. I'd say it seems worse than Facebook in that regard.

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