Psst… Tumblr Serves Up Porn to Minors

(Ed. note: Some NSFW content and images after the cut) I’ll never forget the day I sat down with a large cup of coffee and my daughter’s laptop to do some leisurely Internet surfing. I clicked the bookmarked tab for Tumblr, not realizing that my 15-year-old (at the time) was already logged in and was greeted by a shit load of porn. Pictures, moving .gif files of hardcore, violent sexual depictions of the objectification of women, including double penetration, threesomes – I almost choked to death. When she came home from school, I was LIVID! She explained that she had no idea what those pictures and .gif files were doing appearing on her dashboard. She said she had followed the people who posted them when they were not posting those kinds of pictures. She asked, how was she to know that they would post pictures like that?!

Photograph Courtesy of Arnit Arwal of Digital Inspiration @ labnol.com

Taking a deep breath, fighting back the absolute horror imagining what images my daughter had already seen and contemplating what it had already done to her young, impressionable mind, I tried to think clearly.

Well, it was obvious that because of the way Tumblr works, my daughter had unwittingly began following (similar to befriending someone on Myspace or Facebook) members who post pornography on their Tumblr blogs. Now the question was, were some of these sites deliberately luring children, posting innocuous pictures and content that would entice them to follow a blog and then hitting them with a plethora of images and content unsuitable for minors for nefarious reasons? Were these adults masking as children? Who knows?! Because of the ease with which a person can post content on Tumblr and the absolute lack of any type of safeguard measures to protect minors, a sexual predator could easily do just that.

I began searching through Tumblr’s directory. They don’t have a category for porn”¦ but they should. It was everywhere. I was beyond shocked at the number of Tumblr blogs with pure, completely uncensored adult sexual content and NO warning or disclaimer. Why was that? Livejournal has an option for a person to put a disclaimer on their blog, warning that one must be at least 14 before they can view the adult content. Blogger has a similar requirement. Both gives a child/person an option to get the hell out of dodge if they don’t want to view certain content. However, there is nothing like that on Tumblr. There is no requirement whatsoever. Once you follow a person, much like the wall on Facebook, whatever they post appears on your dashboard without warning or censor.

I took a look at Tumblr’s content policy guidelines and found this:

Sexually Explicit Video. Accounts that use Tumblr’s Video Upload feature to regularly upload and host sexually explicit or pornographic material will be suspended.”

Okay, maybe Tumblr, which boasts that it only has a small staff of fewer than 10 people running its 6-million-hits-per-day site, didn’t KNOW that there was so much uncensored pornography on its site. Feeling empowered and encouraged,  I penned a letter to customer service and received this reply from Marc LaFountain:

Marc LaFountain, Nov 01 09:51 (EDT):
“We allow sexually explicit content on Tumblr. We do not allow sexual explicit videos to be uploaded to Tumblr, but they may be embedded from external sources.”

Marc

Tumblr Support
support@tumblr.com

Okay, wait one minute. I am very used to making my way through the double speak that people use to justify their behavior. Tumblr has a policy that says it will suspend accounts that regularly upload and host sexually explicit or pornographic material. This tool was telling me that while they do not allow sexual explicit videos to be uploaded to Tumblr, they may be embedded from external sources. To a viewer, what is the difference between an embedded video/picture or one that has been directly uploaded? Nothing. It’s complete bullshit semantics. Look at how Tumblr describes the site on its “About” page:

“Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything. Post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos from your browser, phone, desktop, email, or wherever you happen to be.”


From the dashboard, a Tumblr user has the ability to upload text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos, just as they say, but what most people do on Tumblr is simply reblog pictures they like. Next to the reblog button there’s also a like button. Pictures that are reblogged appear immediately on the dash of everyone who has followed the person reblogging it. If a Tumblr user hits the “like” button, the original poster receives a small message on their dash indicating that a person has liked their picture. You have the option to like it or reblog it”¦ and that’s it. You cannot flag a picture for inappropriate content. You cannot block a picture or content that you find offensive. Your only option is to unfollow the person that posted it. Once you unfollow a person, all of their pictures/content will immediately disappear from your dash.

Why doesn’t Tumblr have a disclaimer screen that comes up when a person follows a blog warning them that the blog contains adult sexual content? It seems like a fairly simple safeguard measure to implement. Such a filter would allow parents to screen who their children follow on Tumblr and may deter teens from viewing adult content. At the very least, it would afford teens who are mature enough the opportunity to screen themselves. YouTube will not permit a minor to view a video that has been flagged by the community as having adult content; why doesn’t Tumblr offer the same option? Why are there no privacy settings on Tumblr?

Perhaps Mr. LaFountain, who discloses on his Tumblr page that he has two cats and no children, doesn’t  care about the children who have Tumblr accounts, who are being exposed to unsolicited adult content and who are at risk of being targeted, solicited, and recruited by the sexual predators amongst us. I responded to his email as follows:

Tumblr really needs to have an online reporting page where users can report a picture or a member who is violating your terms of use policy or an ability to flag pictures, just as you have the option to like a picture. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen straight up pornographic images and videos on Tumblr and NOTHING is being done about it. With children as young as 10, 12 posting on Tumblr, I believe that this is outrageous. Here is one example – ONE of what I am talking about. (site omitted)

Here was Mr. LaFountain’s very telling response:

Marc LaFountain, Nov 01 09:53 (EDT):
We allow pornographic images/animated images on Tumblr. I would suggest not viewing or following blogs with content that you do not wish to see.

Marc

Tumblr Support
support@tumblr.com

Wait a minute. What? One would have to first see the content to determine that they do not wish to see it! So my 15-year-old daughter was being asked to screen pornographic content and then determine if she should view it after she’d already seen it? Not only does this not make sense, it was not likely to happen. Desensitized by programs like Jersey Shore, Real World, the U.K. production of Skins, etc., when I asked my daughter had she seen pornographic pictures and/or .gifs on Tumblr, she laughed. She said she thought it was funny but scrolled past them when they appeared on her dash.

Now before I invite anyone to question my parenting skills, I want to disclose that I consider occasions like these teachable moments. When Sammie and Ronnie are going at it on Jersey Shore, I use the program to discuss domestic violence with my daughter. I asked what she believes is wrong with their relationship, what mistakes does she believe Sammie is making in allowing herself to be treated the way she does. So I took that moment to talk to my daughter about the objectification of women, the images of violence and oppression that she’d seen, and  to explore what her reactions were to them. I used the opportunity to talk to my daughter about online safety and self-screening, to alert her to the fact that not everyone online is your friend, and that some people may actually be out to harm you. I warned her that if she did not police the content on her Tumblr and the people whom she befriended on there, I would have to ban her from participating on the site. As she becomes a young woman, I want my daughter to THINK about her choices and make the correct ones, I don’t like to tell her what to do, so I gave her an opportunity to show me that she can surf the Web responsibly and safely. Still, with no way to police the content she is seeing on her dash, there is always a chance that someone she has befriended will decide to post wholly inappropriate content for minors and she will only know that after she’d seen it.

In February of 2009, Fox News reported that 90,000 sexual offenders had been purged from Myspace.  The article reported that North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper had been told by Myspace that they actually had half that amount just the year before. Cooper called for social networking sites to do more to protect children and teenagers.

These sites were created for young people to communicate with each other. Predators are going to troll in these areas where they know children are going to be. That’s why these social networking sites have the responsibility to make their sites safe for children. Our law enforcement officers investigating these cases tell us that predators are soliciting children on the Internet and in social networking sites. We’re working to provide more law enforcement to protect our kids, but social networking sites and technology companies must do their part as well.

Both MySpace and Facebook responded to that call by installing safeguards, such as age verification methods, banning sexual offenders from registering on their sites, and curtailing the search feature, to protect minors from being sought out by sexual predators. However, in 2010, a 14-year-old boy in Los Angeles County was molested by Achilles Corelleone,  a 47-year-old man whom he met through MySpace. So how dangerous is Tumblr, which has no such measures?

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said back in 2008, in regards to MySpace and Facebook’s additional security measures: “Social networks that encourage kids to come to their sites have a responsibility to keep those kids safe. We’ve now gotten the two largest social networking sites to agree to take significant steps to protect children from predators and pornography.” Why isn’t Tumblr taking on that responsibility?

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller added, “Our driving concern is that social networking sites can be misused by sexual predators to commit crimes against minors and that minors may gain access to inappropriate content.”

It takes two seconds to create a Tumblr account. All one needs to do is create a title and come up with a password. There is no option to flag adult content. There are no disclaimers on blogs that have adult content. Do a search on Google for “Tumblr Porn” and tell me what comes up in the image screen. Tumblr does not censor any of its adult content. To make matters worse, there are Tumblr meet-ups being organized all the time in varying states.

In an article entitled Tumbler’s Secret for Success:  Adult Content, featured in ToMuse, a tech review site, Kevin Eklund explored whether the steady and increasing growth of Tumblr (established in 2007) was specifically due to its large quantity of adult content.

His article discloses that, “Traffic data from Quantcast shows that 16/20 (80%) of the top blogs at Tumblr are primarily focused toward publishing adult content “¦ There appears to be a clear trend for adult content publishing at Tumblr.”

He also asks a very important question about Tumblr’s Terms of Service:  “Interestingly, Tumblr’s own TOS states that, ‘Subscriber represents, warrants and agrees that it will not contribute any Subscriber Content that “¦ (d) is libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, abusive, indecent, threatening, harassing, hateful, offensive, or otherwise violates any law or right of any third party.’ Of course the question is: what’s Tumblr’s definition of pornographic, indecent, or offensive,  and are these blogs in violation of Tumblr’s TOS?”

Good question! It seems in answer to this question, Tumblr altered its Terms of Service. The section quoted above now reads, “libelous, defamatory, abusive, threatening, harassing, hateful, offensive, or otherwise violates any law or right of any third party.” It seems that Tumblr has determined that obscene and pornographic is okay with them. However, further along in the TOS, they do still say: “Use of the Site or Services to “¦ transfer or store illegal material including that are deemed threatening or obscene “¦ is expressly prohibited.” Once again, we don’t know what Tumblr’s definition is of threatening or obscene. However, we do know what Mr. Marc LaFountain thinks.

The blatant hypocrisy of Tumblr pisses me off, and I see it echoed in society all the time. If a child is raped, molested, kidnapped, or killed, society rises up in arms and outrage, yet we turn a blind eye to the ways in which we can protect our children from being victimized and exploited. Tumblr is allowing members of their site to create blogs to regularly post and host uncensored pornographic material while at the same time claiming they will suspend any account that does so, but only if they use their video uploading service, because embedding and linking is different (please note my sarcasm).

On September 16, 2010, the International Business Times reported in Sex Trafficking of Minors in America that “more than 100,000 children are exploited in the sex trade in the United States every year.” Linda Smith, former House Representative for Washington and the founding president of Shared Hope International is quoted as saying that it was a “conservative estimate.” She explains in the article that “victims of domestic minor sex trafficking – both girls and boys” have an “average initial exploitation age of 13.”

She also makes a strong statement: “Without a buyer of commercial sex, there would not be a market for trafficked victims.”

Quantcast reports that 17 percent of the members of Tumblr are between the ages of 13 and 17. I believe that warrants measures to be put in place to protect minors from being exposed to unsolicited adult sexual content and sexual child predators. I believe it should be mandatory. I see minors on Tumblr reblogging adult content all the time. They are being exposed to the content without warning. They are reproducing their own sexually explicit pictures and posting those pictures of themselves on their blog. None of this content is being screened or censored. They are not being protected. At all.

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52 Comments Psst… Tumblr Serves Up Porn to Minors

  1. Avatar of somnomaniasomnomania

    I’m sure a number of people have brought this up already, but there are some measures. Most of them rely on user participation; accurately tagging posts as NSFW, for example, and using the Tumblr Savior script to filter unwanted content (when it’s working– it’s rather spotty in Firefox). I do agree that Tumblr could stand some greater measures against pornography, however. It does need its own category (if only so those looking for it can find it more easily).

    It sounds like you are raising your daughter incredibly well!

    Edit: Whoops, forgot to mention another addon/script– SafeDash. It safely hides all images on your Tumblr dashboard until they are clicked on. This would actually be more reliable than Tumblr Savior, and would allow one a chance to look at the post tags first.

  2. Avatar of GinaGina

    Thank you for this post. I am a tumblr user and I hate it when I come across pornographic images. Recently, I came across an explicit photo that was tagged “teen” and “boys”. It was basically child pornography. I was disgusted and I hope that Tumblr works on changing for the better.

  3. Avatar of ericaerica

    Porn on Tumblr is like going to the theater to see a PG-13 and a rated-X trailer comes up. It’s not what you’re there for. You don’t see it coming, and by the time you close your eyes (or your children’s eyes) its too late. There’s a reason why that isn’t legal. I don’t understand how Tumblr is getting away with this.

    First of all I want to begin with saying that I am 20 years old. I don’t want to see the porn myself, let alone have kids and young teens become exposed to it. It is completely unavoidable on Tumblr.

    As opposed to what some of the other comments are saying, porn is NOT everywhere on the internet. Sure, when I was on Myspace in the 7th grade I came across a few boobs and thonged booties. And maybe I google-image searched “penis” once. But I went through my teens never seeing any hardcore graphic photos and videos. For the most part, if you aren’t looking for porn on the internet, you don’t have to see it. And I’m glad I didn’t.

    I also support you daughter and take offense to those criticizing her and your parenting. I recently got my Tumblr and have seen more porn in the 3 weeks of my blog weeks than I have my entire life. First of all, it is a swimsuit shopping blog (http://fuckyeahonepieces.tumblr.com/). There is absolutely nothing inherently sexual about it. Like your daughter, I am was curious about my followers, i mean, who wouldn’t be? However, almost half of my followers are sexually explicit. Some of them hard porn, which I block immediately, but I have to click to find out. If this is hitting me so hard, it is not hard to assume that the pedo-perv-bloggers would specifically target young teen bloggers, simply because that’s what pedo-pervs like to do. Also, I have received requests from the “ask” option to send nude pictures that they would post on their blog. What if I was underage? Wouldn’t that be soliciting minors?

    Additionally, I am bothered that I do not feel comfortable browsing Tumblr on in the presence of other people, whether it be in a public place (school, library, etc.) or in the privacy of my home, in fear that my 7-year-old sister might see a dick getting sucked by someone who is getting it from the back.

    I understand some of the comments that teens exploring sexuality is normal, but they should be able to do so at their own ease. A simple solution for Tumblr is REQUIRING blogs to mark their content as NSFW, and allowing users to mark others’ blogs and individual posts too. Then, have a NSFW warning show up for the content/blog that links to the actual content. Those who don’t want the warnings can opt-out at their account settings. I believe deviantart (an art community) has this system for their erotica and nude art.

  4. Avatar of CourtneyCourtney

    ok, this entire article pissed me off, so pardon the bitchyness/hate/anger.

    “Pictures, moving .gif files of hardcore, violent sexual depictions of the objectification of women, including double penetration, threesomes — I almost choked to death.” [That's what author stated she saw on her 15-year-old's dash.]…..-.-

    “She explained that she had no idea what those pictures and .gif files were doing appearing on her dashboard. She said she had followed the people who posted them when they were not posting those kinds of pictures.” Oh honey, get real. If you were greeted with “a shit load of porn.” as you call it, your daughter went LOOKING. She’s one kinky 15 year old, whether she’s actually active sexually or not, and she likes seeing that kind of thing. And HONESTLY, coming from a submissive’s perspective, the “objectification of women” and “violent sexual depictions” are something that are found amazingly hot at a pretty young age for girls who turn out to be submissive and rather kinky in bed. My point is anyway, that if your daughter is an active Tumblr user, those blogs didn’t get all “VIOLENT AND SEXUAL LULZ” overnight. She had seen things like that before and didn’t take what you would see as “appropriate action.” [unfollowing those people] In fact, if you went to the blogs that those had come from, you would probably see that they were, in fact, porn-centric blogs.

    “Taking a deep breath, fighting back the absolute horror imagining what images my daughter had already seen and contemplating what it had already done to her young, impressionable mind, I tried to think clearly.” One thing to say about this. OH NO THE HORRORS OF PORN ON A POSSIBLY SEXUALLY ACTIVE TEENAGER. WHAT WILL WE DO. Tbh, I’m not even that liberal, but 1) her mind isn’t “young and impressionable” anymore. She’s begun to start foring her own opinions and stances on things by then, and it’s not going to KILL HER BRAIN if she sees nekkid people having sex. Honestly, if she’s active, she’s probably just getting clues for when she meets up with her boyfriend [hopefully with a condom or other protection as well, considering I would seriously hope you've had THAT TALK with her.]

    “were some of these sites deliberately luring children, posting innocuous pictures and content that would entice them to follow a blog and then hitting them with a plethora of images and content unsuitable for minors for nefarious reasons?” Yep. We’re all out to get your precious baby girl. Totally.

    “the absolute lack of any type of safeguard measures to protect minors”….As I stated before, there are SEVERAL steps a good parent can take to avoid this. 1) BE A GOOD PARENT AND MONITOR YOUR FUCKING CHILD. 2) DONT BE AN IDIOT. USE FIREFOX OR CHROME. 3)Tumblr Saviour. 4)MONITOR YOUR FUCKING CHILD. Did you even look at HER blog, to see if she had reblogged anything? Maybe she’s like me, and posts that kinda thing to a side blog. Did you check for that? Don’t be so quick to judge.

    “Livejournal has an option for a person to put a disclaimer on their blog, warning that one must be at least 14 before they can view the adult content. Blogger has a similar requirement. Both gives a child/person an option to get the hell out of dodge if they don’t want to view certain content. However, there is nothing like that on Tumblr. There is no requirement whatsoever. Once you follow a person, much like the wall on Facebook, whatever they post appears on your dashboard without warning or censor.” And we’re back to the part where all your kid has to do is click “yes, I’m over [insert age limit here]” and they’re good. No checks. No “we need your credit card or ID number to verify.” None of that. And we’re also back to THERE ARE CENSORS.

    “Why doesn’t Tumblr have a disclaimer screen that comes up when a person follows a blog warning them that the blog contains adult sexual content?” The blogs themselves do. It’s the responsibility of the user to read the description, that often says “NSFW/18+”.

    “YouTube will not permit a minor to view a video that has been flagged by the community as having adult content” No, but all your kid has to do is change their birthday. Simple. Piece of pie. Besides, who is REALLY honest about their age anymore?

    “I don’t like to tell her what to do, so I gave her an opportunity to show me that she can surf the Web responsibly and safely.” YOU ARE HER PARENT. NOT HER FRIEND. NOT HER BUDDY, HER COMPADRE, HER PAL. YOU ARE HER FUCKING MOTHER AND YOU SHOULD BE FUCKING TELLING HER WHAT TO DO. Because if you don’t, who will? Who’s going to tell her what choices are right, who’s going to discipline her when she makes the wrong ones? Oh wait. That’s right. No one. If you don’t tell her what to do in times like these, then obviously she’s going to think that what she’s doing is okay. And if you don’t think it’s okay, then you need to WOMAN UP, be a fucking parent, and guide her the way she should go.

    “Still, with no way to police the content she is seeing on her dash” Are you telling me you don’t have her Tumblr email/password? Shame on you then. All it takes is a simple log in to tell what’s up. Hell, write the usernames of the porn blogs down, log back in in a week, and if she’s still following those people, ask her what’s up. “I can’t find the unfollow button” is not an excuse.

    “To make matters worse, there are Tumblr meet-ups being organized all the time in varying states.” Oh okay, you’re one of those. Honey, I’ve found the BEST PEOPLE I WILL EVER BE IN CONTACT THROUGH TUMBLR. That’s Tumblr’s appeal. Not the porn [though, that's nice]. It’s the sense of community. It’s the fact that we can GATHER AN ENTIRE SITE, drag them to another site, and troll/bring that site down in a matter of HOURS. [See: Tumblr/4chan war, which was preceeded by the Tumblr/Omegle war, in which I met my boyfriend.] It’s the companionship, the community, the people who are so open and loving and honest. There’s a reason Westboro’s Tumblr didn’t make the cut after 12 hours.

    “If a child is raped, molested, kidnapped, or killed, society rises up in arms and outrage, yet we turn a blind eye to the ways in which we can protect our children from being victimized and exploited”….WAYS YOU CAN PROTECT YOUR CHILD: MONITOR THEM ONLINE. DONT LET THEM ON TUMBLR IF THEY CANT BE RESPONSIBLE.

    “I see minors on Tumblr reblogging adult content all the time.” And those kid’s parents are probably much like you, and don’t watch what their kid does online.

    /rant

    1. Avatar of Professor SProfessor S

      Courtney, my daughter and I read your comment together. Her reaction was . . . . I won’t write what she had to say about it. She’s a bit older now, and out spoken like her Momma.

    2. Avatar of [E] Selena MacIntosh[E] Selena MacIntosh

      Okay, we have rules here, and you’ve just tried to kill an ant with a hand grenade. Take a breath, step away from the keyboard and come back when you can argue an idea without a personal attack.
      EDIT: You can have your vowelling privileges back when you show us you can use them responsibly.

      1. Avatar of CourtneyCourtney

        I giggle because you took all that effort to unvowel a comment that was clearly meant for trolling. I mean, yeah, my points still stand, but I worded it in a way TO anger the masses. And it did, obviously.
        /job done

          1. Avatar of CourtneyCourtney

            Well, aren’t you just the funniest. I was pretty sure you all were advocators of the whole “FREE SPEECH EQUALITY RIGHTS” thing, and supported opposition. Ah well. Toodles!

            1. Avatar of [E] pileofmonkeys[E] pileofmonkeys

              I feel like calling yourself a troll is like announcing to people that you’re brilliant or talented. If you have to point it out, you probably aren’t very good. Also, you can disagree without resorting to seventh grade rhetoric.

              Trolls today are boring. At least in the good old days of Usenet and early bulletin boards, trolls had some style. This? Is tired.

              1. Avatar of Professor SProfessor S

                I wasn’t angry by what Courtney wrote at all, neither was my daughter. What my daughter thought was that Courtney was ignorant and assuming a lot about her and myself that she didn’t know anything about.

                Courtney: I mean, yeah, my points still stand, but I worded it in a way TO anger the masses. And it did, obviously.

                You have to wonder why a person would write a response to make someone angry; who does that?

                Courtney: I was pretty sure you all were advocators of the whole “FREE SPEECH EQUALITY RIGHTS” thing

                Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom to be nasty. Anyway, Courtney’s responses inspired me!!! So thank you for that. Courtney created her account just to respond to this post, and that’s because the article struck a nerve, and THAT’S the name of the game!

                1. Avatar of CourtneyCourtney

                  See, THERES a good sport.
                  Like I said, my points however still stand. I wasn’t trying to *&*assume*&* anything, I was just basing my opinion off what I knew from the article. So…a few things, I guess. 1) sorry i got a bit nasty there, that really was kinda uncalled for, 2) i resort to “IMATROLLLOL” in order to hopefully just shut everyone up so i dont get more notifications, because generally it shuts people up. 3)i was also basing my “assumptions” off of what i would have done at that age in that experience.

                  But still, a porn blog doesn’t just turn into a porn blog overnight. Pretty sure your daughter pulled one over on you, there.

                  Thanks for a [possiblly undeserving] courteous response. I’ll be back to read this more often. I was directed here by a friend, stumbled upon this article, and was enraged, but upon further reading etc…yeah, I’ll be back, and I’ll leave the trolls under the bridge. :)

                  1. Avatar of [E] Selena MacIntosh[E] Selena MacIntosh

                    Good sport? AYFKM? You come into our blog and take a shit in the middle of our living room and get upset because we weren’t nice to you? You make a post full of insults and then want US to shut up?

                    The rules are simple. No personal attacks. Break the rules, get a moderator up in your business. Break the rules and then make a series of posts about your free speech being violated while shouting “IMATROLLLOL” and get me, the site owner, up in your business. You were rude, plain and simple, and I don’t care how much backpedaling you do, I’m going to remember that your first appearance on Persephone was to completely disregard our (unbelievably reasonable) commenting policy and whine about your free speech rights when we didn’t let you get away with it. Also, if you don’t want notifications, don’t tick the goddamned notification box.

                    We’ve been around for 7 months now, and you’re the ONLY person I’ve disemvowelled. If 17,000 other comments could follow the don’t be a turd rule, it shouldn’t have been that hard for you.

                    1. Avatar of Professor SProfessor S

                      Selena, I want to formally thank you! You’ll read why, in my next post, which Courtney actually inspired.

                      Courtney, you assumed a whole lot about my parenting skills and my relationship with my daughter, all negative, without asking one clarifying question. Based on what, YOUR experience and what you did at that age. Newsflash, Courtney, my daughter is NOT you. That’s one of the things that she said, after she read your response and completely dismissed it.

                      You seem to be missing that I said that the sites that were posting porn on the day I logged in had NOT posted porn at all for many weeks, so the idea that my daughter “pulled on over on me” is just I think wishful thinking, because after all, the article enraged you because you felt it was “anti-porn” and you are “pro-porn”. That’s really the bottom line and the problem you had with the article.

                      It was easy for me to go to the archive and see what those people were posting before. They were not “porn” sites, but I asked the question about the porn sites that do exist on Tumblr and the children on Tumblr who might be solicited and/or be exposed to them to inspire and engage conversation. So thanks for being honest when you say this:

                      “i resort to “IMATROLLLOL” in order to hopefully just shut everyone up so i dont get more notifications, because generally it shuts people up.”

                      What kind of person joins a conversation just to get everyone else to shut up, and why? Because the other person doesn’t agree with them?

                      SMH. If you’re curious to know what kind of person does that, and since you’ll be around, please look for my newest article.

                      Perhaps you’ll become enlightened, gain more understanding about yourself and others and your mind will broaden — that’s the primary reason I write, and the only reason that I engage in conversations — never to shut anyone up.

  5. Avatar of LoriLori

    Wait, I’m confused about how we got from the end of this paragraph here, “Still, with no way to police the content she is seeing on her dash, there is always a chance that someone she has befriended will decide to post wholly inappropriate content for minors and she will only know that after she’d seen it.” to the beginning of this paragraph here, “In February of 2009, Fox News reported that 90,000 sexual offenders had been purged from Myspace.

    Are you arguing that an overall lack of regulation leads to sites becoming a haven for child molesters? Because, okay, sure. However, it kind of comes across like you think people who post porn on Tumblr or look at porn on Tumblr might as well be sex offenders… which, no.

    Also, the paragraph comparing kids seeing porn to kids being kidnapped and raped highly offensive. I don’t know if you remember being 15, but wanting to see people having sex is healthy and normal, and actually viewing it (albeit through the messed-up lens of mainstream porn) is not even close to the same realm as sexual trauma.

    I agree with the main point of this article, but the whole thing left a nasty anti-porn aftertaste in my mouth.

  6. Avatar of Sissy LarueSissy Larue

    I’m going to agree with Sabine and disagree with some of the other comments. Yes, Tumblr has every right to host any kind of legal content. No, sexually explicit images don’t necessarily = pure evil. But many of the people that I have encountered on Tumblr reblogging or liking my own (very unsexy) content are kids. Some as young as 12. If you follow someone you have no control over what they might post in the future. That’s the way it works.

    Tumblr is passing the buck on responsibility on this one. They should either make new members sign a disclaimer saying that they are over 18 (which is easy to get around, but is at least a symbolic effort) or have two streams: one for the general public and one for people who are okay with adult images.

    I’m sorry to those of you who are calling for freedom of expression and saying that kids should be exposed to sex, but I can’t think of anyone who is actually a parent who would be okay with a 12-year-old regularly seeing images of hardcore porn. And it’s not just for children. Many people take issue with these kinds of images (we talk about triggering so much around here — I don’t think anyone would deny that a lot of mainstream porn would be troublesome for rape survivors) and I think a site that hosts mini blogs should be safer than this, or at least give new members ample warning.

      1. Avatar of Sissy LarueSissy Larue

        There are people arguing that looking at porn is normal for kids and that Tumblr is an adult space and should be treated as such. I don’t think saying that “well, kids are going to see it anyway” or “it’s a site for adults” absolve Tumblr of any responsibility. If people who run porn blogs are following users who explicitly state that they’re 13 years old and are using Tumblr to post pictures of Justin Bieber so that they’ll get follow-backs, that’s not okay in my books and shouldn’t be chalked up to “well, that’s the way the Internet works.” We can try harder as a society to make things better.

        1. Avatar of LoriLori

          Except I don’t think anyone *did* say that Tumblr doesn’t have any responsibility here. The facts that Tumblr is supposedly for adults and also that almost all kids accidentally see porn at some point are just facts that are important in the context of the article but which were left out.

    1. Avatar of Professor SProfessor S

      Tumblr is passing the buck on responsibility.

      Hi Sissy. Yes, you’ve gotten my point.

      I think some people are missing it. Is it a far stretch to understand that a pedophile or a sex offender can easily manipulate Tumblrs open system and target a child on there?

      Is it too convoluted to understand that pedophiles and sexual offenders LOOK for places where children are unprotected so that they can exploit them?

      There’s a lot of teens on Tumblr posting about their feelings of loneliness, hurt, ect. Predators look for people who are vulnerable. All it has to happen to is ONE child for it to upset me. It doesn’t have to happen to several children for me to get concerned.

      As a matter of fact, all there needs to be is a possibility for me to get upset. The safeguard measures that you’re suggesting are asy. And you make a great point about some of the images being triggering/upsetting to adults and they have no way of shielding themselves.

      Freedom of expression also means I get to decide what I want to look at/read.

  7. Avatar of PerpetuaPerpetua

    Quantcast reports that 17 percent of the members of Tumblr are between the ages of 13 and 17.

    Tumblr is meant to be an adult site, and that sadly precludes them from believing that they need tougher porn restrictions. Teens aren’t the target or primary demographic. Yes, Tumblr really should come up with better NSFW options; there are plenty of people who even are of age that don’t want to see that content (including myself). But it’s pretty obvious when a blog is a “porn blog” – the average Tumblr user doesn’t just do a 180 from posting artsy landscapes to posting porn.

    What may have happened to your daughter is that many porn blogs (or other blogs, for that matter) will “follow” hundreds and hundreds of random people in order to get publicity. Many people think it’s courteous to “follow back” any “followers” that they get – thus a porn blog can exploit the average user’s nice gesture to amass a greater following. You can’t tell what kind of blog is following you just by the little message that pops up in your dashboard feed, just the username. You have to go to the blog itself and take a look – something that it sounds like you’ve already cautioned your daughter to do in the future.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve sent the occasional email to Tumblr’s support when I’ve come across blogs hosting child pornography or seemingly hosting child pornography, or even pornographic videos, and the blogs in question have been banned within 24 hours.

    1. Avatar of Professor SProfessor S

      Hi Perpetua, yep, that’s exactly what my daughter said to me, she was doing the courtesy follow back.

      Also, she wasn’t looking at the names and coming to a conclusion about the content from that. I also told her, a look at the small about me blurb could let a person know what it’s all about.

      It makes me upset that she’d have to “take a look” — ’cause I don’t want her seeing some things at all, but I guess that’s life in the 21st century. Ugh!

      Thanks for letting me know that Tumblr DOES take some kind of action.

    2. Avatar of Savannah Logsdon-BreakstoneSavannah Logsdon-Breakstone

      THIS. THIS IS ACCURATE. Honestly, I couldn’t make it through the article because of some of the anti porn sentiment, but this comment is for all the win.

      I want to also note that Tumblr has one of the WORST abuse/harrassment reporting systems to top off their crappy system of poorly marking NSFW blogs (I have a separate account to follow some of them, and resent the OP’s implications about users of adult content) and options to not see posts that are NSFW.

      And the thing is, David Karp (the owner of the site) DOES NOT SEEM TO CARE about any user’s complaints about features. Site goes down a lot? He doesn’t care. Users demanding that image description/alt tag be added to the “Photo Post” link it is for the pop up “insert image” thing? Doesn’t care.

      User scripts might be able to help some individual users, but not having that default option on the site is a lack. Changes to the ToS that allow consenting adults their space? Not a lack. Especially since it says that you must comply with local laws- so the people adding people to their porn blogs who are clearly noted as minors IS against the TOS, and they can be reported for violation of statutes on corruption of minors. (But this only counts if the minor is clearly marked as a minor on the profile.)

      1. Avatar of Professor SProfessor S

        I have a separate account to follow some of them, and resent the OP’s implications about users of adult content

        Pornography proponents need to make room for people to have different view points than they do. I have a right to not want my daughter viewing porn and to not want to see it myself.

        We’re all agreeing that Tumblr needs to be more proactive in terms of adding safeguards to their site.

        The fact that sexual predators troll social networking sites to target their victims is being ignored, and I don’t understand/get why; people are instead choosing to argue that “porn is okay”. A safer subject? I don’t get it. If it’s okay for you, then great, go for it. Why would I parent according to what other people think is okay?

        The idea that teenagers are rarely affected by exposure to adult sexual content before they are ready is one, a matter of opinion; two, the concept that teenagers are “rarely” victimized by their exposure to adult sexual content and/or exploited by predators that they meet on line is one that I have a problem with.

        It does happen, has happened and can happen. Even if it was one teenager out of 100 teenagers, that ONE teenagers matter.

  8. Avatar of whatimageswhatimages

    Look, I get that realizing your daughter has seen sexually explicit images might be kind of squicky–but honestly, using the internet at 15, I would be shocked if this was the first time. Maybe it was an accident, maybe she sought out those images on purpose, but here’s the thing: she’s going to be fine. Porn is not going to permanently damage her sexuality. It may affect her sexuality, but if you raise your daughter to be a self-respecting woman who thinks for herself, those images are going to be water off a duck’s back. Really. Your parenting is not going to be undone by some gifs on the internet.

    Nor is being exposed to sexually explicit imagery going to make her a target for pedophiles. The vast, vast majority of sexual assaults of children and teenagers are perpetrated, like other forms of sexual assault, by someone the victim knows well. Protecting your daughter from the internet isn’t going to do anything, because that’s not where the danger is. Teaching your daughter about boundaries, how to recognize abusive behaviour, and making her feel safe at home are all way more important to preventing her victimization than shutting down porn on tumblr.

    1. Avatar of Olivia MarudanOlivia Marudan

      I tend to agree with this. While I wouldn’t be upset if Tumblr enforced some kind of NSFW option (because I do subscribe to some sexy sex Tumblrs and would like the option of filtering it at times) the internet is not safe for kids. Ever. If a child is above the age of ten they know how to access never ending spirals of free porn that get a whole lot worse than anything you could find on Tumblr.

      Even before the internet kids passed around The Joy of Sex or Playboys. I remember very gingerly picking through my older brother’s dirty magazines, trying to find one that suited my interests. I think I was 14 or 15 when I did that. Which is a very, very normal age for a young woman to start exploring her sexuality and what turns her on and what horrifies her.

      Porn and culture is not something easily manuvered around. While it sucks that some websites are making it harder to help parents keep this stuff at bay, but Tumblr is not a safe space. Facebook is not a safe space, the internet is not a safe space and kids should be well informed and parents ready to deal with the gallons of unseeable bullshit that will inevitably cross their path. They should make it easier to hide it, I 100% agree with that. But we cannot let teenagers loose on websites that never claim to be free from porn, and then expect them to be free from porn.

      1. Avatar of Sissy LarueSissy Larue

        I think one difference between what was on Sabine’s daughter’s dashboard and you or I sneaking our dad’s Playboys is the intensity of the images. Yes, kids are interested in sexuality. And it’s harmless to see pictures of naked women posing in cheesy costumes. I think it’s less harmless to see images simulating rape or positions that some people would find degrading. Not to mention the ubiquitousness of surgically altered bodies in newer porn. I know that many consider this an anti-feminist stance, but mainstream porn has changed the expectations that a lot of people have for sex and I think a lot of this stuff could scare a kid or affect otherwise healthy attitudes towards sex.

        Yes, porn is everywhere on the Internet. That doesn’t mean that we can’t fight to create safer spaces if that’s what matters to us.

        1. Avatar of Professor SProfessor S

          Yes, kids are interested in sexuality. And it’s harmless to see pictures of naked women posing in cheesy costumes. I think it’s less harmless to see images simulating rape or positions that some people would find degrading. Not to mention the ubiquitousness of surgically altered bodies in newer porn.

          Exactly! One of the things my daughter and I did was compare images that I found objectifying and revolting to ones that I thought had artistic value. Putting them side by side, I asked what SHE thought of them. Then I told her what I thought, and WHY.

          Of course my daughter is interested in sexuality and exploring it, I highly support that. I don’t approve of images that glorify woman’s body parts (and no face), that have her in a face down, under-dog, powerless position with his hand around her throat for example — yeah, I know some people find that sexy. I don’t.

          Another problem that arises is since nothing is filtered or safeguarded, a child has just as much chance of seeing an act of bestiality as she does seeing a couple engaged in a sexual act.

          In a two minute search, I found a site dedicated to posting women with various dogs in sexual acts. No, that’s not something I want popping up on my daughter’s computer.

        2. Avatar of Olivia MarudanOlivia Marudan

          Well, actually, they were my brother’s porn and it was extremely sexually explicit. We are talking serious bondage and masochism stuff, not the soft-lense Playboy nudes at all.

          But I wanted to explore my sexuality at the time. I wanted to know what turned me on and what didn’t. I also lost my virginity one year later (at 16) and it was a wonderful experience that I’m gratefull for. I’m not saying that every experience is like mine or that pornography doesn’t come without problems or that there aren’t pictures unsuitable for teens. But what I am saying is that I was explosed to hard core porn as a 15 year old and it was not at all an issue in my life. Not even a little. Not even kind of. The idea that teens are hurt by being exposed to sexual issues, I think, is a mistake. I read some nasty stuff when I was 15. Worse than than anything I’ve ever seen on Tumblr, but I still understood (thanks to a comprehensive education from my parents and school) that sex could be powerful and thus I chose to engage in in safetly and responsibly. Teenagers can do that. They have that capacity. Acting as though they can’t look at something and make a value judgement, that is not only thoughtful but responsible, is undermining their abilities.

          I understand a parent not wanting their kid to see a screen shot from anal avengers 4. I agree there should be a NSFW option on tumblr. But I don’t think anybody should assume that safe spaces really exist on the internet (or in your child’s head for that matter). Fight to make them safer, sure. But teenagers looking at porn is basic growing-up stuff. And I really do believe that for the most part it is no more harmful than a 15 year old watching Jersey Shore.

    2. Avatar of Professor SProfessor S

      Whatimages: Look, I get that realizing your daughter has seen sexually explicit images might be kind of squicky–but honestly, using the internet at 15, I would be shocked if this was the first time. Maybe it was an accident, maybe she sought out those images on purpose, but here’s the thing: she’s going to be fine. Porn is not going to permanently damage her sexuality. It may affect her sexuality, but if you raise your daughter to be a self-respecting woman who thinks for herself, those images are going to be water off a duck’s back. Really. Your parenting is not going to be undone by some gifs on the internet.

      Nor is being exposed to sexually explicit imagery going to make her a target for pedophiles. The vast, vast majority of sexual assaults of children and teenagers are perpetrated, like other forms of sexual assault, by someone the victim knows well. Protecting your daughter from the internet isn’t going to do anything, because that’s not where the danger is. Teaching your daughter about boundaries, how to recognize abusive behaviour, and making her feel safe at home are all way more important to preventing her victimization than shutting down porn on tumblr.

      I appreciate your comment though I don’t necessarily agree. It’s really not just about my daughter but ALL the children on line. I’m interested in protecting their welfare, and if one of them were victimized because of Tumblr’s non-existent safeguard measures, then guess what?

      All of us who turned a blind eye when we knew it was lax and said nothing are guilty, IMO.

      Teaching your daughter about boundaries, how to recognize abusive behaviour, and making her feel safe at home are all way more important to preventing her victimization than shutting down porn on tumblr.

      Tumblr bloggers can post porn until the cows come home for all I care. I just would like some safeguard measures on Tumblr so that a user can choose what they’ll be exposed to.

  9. Avatar of ArielAriel

    This is a joke, right?

    Okay, so — yes, Tumblr does need better NSFW options. There IS an option to mark your blog’s content as NSFW when you go to customize it, but it doesn’t, from my point of view, appear to actually do anything. It would be really nice if Tumblr required people to enter their DOB when signing up (of course, most teens will still lie — I certainly did) and blocked NSFW blogs from people under 18, or presented some kind of splash page or warning saying “yo, this blog has graphic content, by clicking this you agree that you were warned” or whatever.

    However, adult content on a website that does not specifically cater to minors isn’t surprising. The majority of erotic or pornographic tumblrs are made by adults and intended to be consumed by adults.

    “They don’t have a category for porn… but they should.” They do, actually! Two of them, Erotica (which is more porn-oriented) and Sexuality (which is more anthropological in focus–some of the top blogs in that category belong to Charlotte Shane, Melissa Grant, and Katie West). When you click “Explore,” it takes you to a page that tracks Tumblr’s most popular tags, which is different. (Tags are also not a requirement and many people reblog images without them.) Tumblr’s directory system is pretty loosey-goosey and blogs do not have the option of assigning themselves to a directory (you have to rely on your followers to do that, when they submit your blog for a recommendation on Tuesdays), but it’s there.

    Additionally, I’m not sure how one goes from “some people post porn on the Internet where kids may or may not stumble across it” to “CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING, OMG,” but I’m pretty sure that 100,000 number is bogus. Statistics on sex trafficking are basically pulled out of thin air — getting accurate stats is incredibly difficult, and most anti-sex trafficking organizations are forced to just make them up, oftentimes exaggerating to sensationalize their cause. If you’re interested.

    When I was a teen — your daughter’s age — I was not only sexually active, I also looked at Internet porn all the time. It’s easy to find, all it takes is a Google search and you don’t even need to turn safe search off. Torrents and P2P downloading programs make acquiring entire porn movies or video clips easy, or there are popular image boards where tons of porn are uploaded in image, gif, or video form. It was easy for me to find and I even stored it on the family computer without anyone knowing about it. I looked at this all the time and you know what, somehow I managed to not be raped by pedophiles! And neither did any of the other teens I knew who liked getting off to porn. You’re well within your rights to want to raise your kid to not look at porn, but if she wants to look at it, she’s going to look at it — it is NOT hard to find.

    For the record, people also flood Tumblr with images of extreme violence and gore, death, cutting/self-injury, thinspiration, pro-ana tips (I have an ED and blog about it and the shit that shows up on my dash, you would not BELIEVE), real life murder images, glamourization of hard drugs, and is a festering cesspool of vicious anons (many who are minors) who tell people (many who are also minors) to get raped and kill themselves. Are you also LIVID!! about that, or is it just sex?

    1. Avatar of Professor SProfessor S

      “They don’t have a category for porn… but they should.” They do, actually! Two of them, Erotica (which is more porn-oriented) and Sexuality

      I write what some would call Erotica. I like Erotica. My daughter has read lots of stuff I’ve written. To me Erotica doesn’t = Porn. But that’s just me. What I saw I would classify as hard core porn, not Erotica/sexuality.

      When I was a teen — your daughter’s age — I was not only sexually active, I also looked at Internet porn all the time.

      To each their own. Not all teens are sexually active and viewing pornography.

      It was easy for me to find and I even stored it on the family computer without anyone knowing about it.

      Could never happen in my house. If it was the case that my daughter wanted to view porn, she wouldn’t be doing it on any computer in my home, that’s a fact.

      For the record, people also flood Tumblr with images of extreme violence and gore, death, cutting/self-injury, thinspiration, pro-ana tips (I have an ED and blog about it and the shit that shows up on my dash, you would not BELIEVE), real life murder images, glamourization of hard drugs, and is a festering cesspool of vicious anons (many who are minors) who tell people (many who are also minors) to get raped and kill themselves. Are you also LIVID!! about that, or is it just sex?

      Sex doesn’t make me livid but objectification does. Besides, the question at worst presents a fallacious argument and at best supports my view that Tumblr needs some safeguard restrictions, IMO.

      Okay, so — yes, Tumblr does need better NSFW options. It would be really nice if Tumblr required people to enter their DOB when signing up . . . and blocked NSFW blogs from people under 18, or presented some kind of splash page or warning”

      Yep, I agree.

      I’m not sure how one goes from “some people post porn on the Internet where kids may or may not stumble across it” to “CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING, OMG,

      Unfortunately, I see it pretty clearly actually. So would a pedophile/sexual predator. It’s pretty *normal* though, for other people not to see it (until something awful happens) ’cause they don’t usually think like a predator.

      1. Avatar of LoriLori

        I write what some would call Erotica. I like Erotica. My daughter has read lots of stuff I’ve written. To me Erotica doesn’t = Porn. But that’s just me. What I saw I would classify as hard core porn, not Erotica/sexuality.

        Erotica is frequently as sexually explicit as porn but has more ‘artistic’ value. So I would be pretty freaked out if my mother showed me erotica she had written, and I’m an adult! Admittedly, though, I can’t know what your definition of ‘erotica’ is. These things are highly subjective. I kind of gather, though, that your definition of ‘porn’ equates all porn ever with the crap that’s made by large, mainstream companies like Vivid and Hustler, and that’s just ridiculous and unfair, at best.

        Could never happen in my house. If it was the case that my daughter wanted to view porn, she wouldn’t be doing it on any computer in my home, that’s a fact.

        Except that she did just view porn, didn’t she? I’m not trying to be a jerk, but this came across as surprisingly naive. Porn is everywhere on the Internet. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is. Your kid has seen some.

        Sex doesn’t make me livid but objectification does.

        Not all porn is objectifying. Again, I think you’re equating mainstream crap with all porn.

        Unfortunately, I see it pretty clearly actually. So would a pedophile/sexual predator.

        1. I think it’s pretty reasonable to assume that most people who post porn on Tumblr without any warning are not predators; they’re people who like porn who are not really considering the fact that a child might be reading.
        2. In the majority of cases in which an adult has a virtual sexual encounter with a minor, or real-life sexual encounter that was initiated online, the kid is not an unknowing victim. Most of the time, the kids are doing what I was: actively engaging with these adults as a form of trauma re-enactment. This is not to minimize what the adults have done, just to let you know that statutory rapists who target teenagers don’t operate the same way as the bogeymen who kidnap nine-year-olds. Unless your daughter has trauma issues, she’s almost certainly safe from online predators.

        I really, really do agree with you that Tumblr should be better regulated, and I agree that viewing porn should always be a choice and a choice that’s made by adults. However, you’re approaching this issue with such (understandable) panic that you’re overlooking all of the nuances, and the result is that porn performers and porn viewers are lumped in with child rapists, and all child rapists are painted with the same brush. That’s not helpful.

        1. Avatar of Professor SProfessor S

          Erotica is frequently as sexually explicit as porn but has more ‘artistic’ value. So I would be pretty freaked out if my mother showed me erotica she had written, and I’m an adult! Admittedly, though, I can’t know what your definition of ‘erotica’ is.

          I didn’t show her anything. It’s a novel, and she wanted to read it, and ASKED to read it. And you’re right, you don’t know what my definition of Erotica is. I personally think something with artistic value is very different than porn.

          I kind of gather, though, that your definition of ‘porn’ equates all porn ever with the crap that’s made by large, mainstream companies like Vivid and Hustler, and that’s just ridiculous and unfair, at best.

          You know what happens when you assume, right?

          Except that she did just view porn, didn’t she? I’m not trying to be a jerk, but this came across as surprisingly naive. Porn is everywhere on the Internet. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is. Your kid has seen some.

          I said viewing porn, as in “I used to watch porn all the time when I was 15″ — that could never happen in my house. And the argument is fallacious. Because it happens all the time, it’s okay? I don’t think so.

          Not all porn is objectifying. Again, I think you’re equating mainstream crap with all porn.

          I think most of it is, and you didn’t see the images that I saw. Since you’ve stated that porn is subjective, you’d need to put yourself in my shoes to understand why I reacted the way I did.

          I think it’s pretty reasonable to assume that most people who post porn on Tumblr without any warning are not predators;

          But I’m not talking about them. I don’t care about them. That’s not my concern. My concern are the sexual predators and pedophiles who exist amongst us, and what they might do to an innocent child on a site that has no safeguards.

          We are not going to pretend that sexual predators and pedophiles DO troll social networking sites that have children interacting on them, looking for victims are we?

          I really, really do agree with you that Tumblr should be better regulated, and I agree that viewing porn should always be a choice and a choice that’s made by adults

          Thanks, that’s my point. Children have rights that should be protected. So do adults. If a person doesn’t want to see something that other people like viewing, they have a right to say I don’t like it and don’t want to see it. I don’t think it’s a controversial stance at all. As I mentioned, Youtube does it, Google has a filter for their search engine. Myspace does it, so does Facebook. Why shouldn’t Tumblr?

          However, you’re approaching this issue with such (understandable) panic that you’re overlooking all of the nuances, and the result is that porn performers and porn viewers are lumped in with child rapists, and all child rapists are painted with the same brush. That’s not helpful.

          I am not panicked. And I didn’t say anything like that.

          1. Avatar of LoriLori

            My definitions of porn and erotica overlap a great deal. That is obviously not the case for you, so it seems I was fair to assume.

            Agreeing with your main point doesn’t mean I can’t disagree with the way you presented it, and there were definitely some very problematic things in your article. The fact that you’re so focused on child predators here is one of them- roping in an older teen by posting porn on Tumblr and then somehow kidnapping her is just not something that happens and it’s irresponsible to act like it does. Meanwhile, you really *can’t* ignore the motivations of the majority of the people who are out-of-the-blue posting porn on Tumblr, because they are indeed who you’re talking about.
            If you want to talk about adult-content warnings, that’s fine, but that’s not the only thing you’re talking about.

            1. Avatar of LoriLori

              And when I say ‘not something that happens’, I mean that sort of thing happens very, very rarely. The vast majority of the time, as I said, teenagers are actively engaging with the predators. Also, the vast majority of the time, people who post porn on Tumblr are not predators and the children who see it are not victims of anything but poor adult content controls.

  10. Avatar of soitgoessoitgoes

    I feel like your daughter might have lied to you. Not to excuse Twitter for not having warning options, but your kid knew what she was doing when she followed certain users. The porn didn’t magically appear the day you logged on.

      1. Avatar of soitgoessoitgoes

        Ah, I typo’d, but my point still stands. She knew she was following porn sites. I would have done the same thing at her age, and likewise acted like I had no clue.

        1. Avatar of Professor SProfessor S

          I really don’t think you can say what she knew or didn’t know based on what you would have done as a teen. You are you, and she is not.

          The sites she was following had not posted any porn before, that’s the point. When I logged in that day, the person who owned the blog happened to be posting a bunch of it. Simply looking at a person’s archive you can see what they’ve posted, and when I looked at that person’s archive, nothing pornographic had appeared before that time for several weeks, just teen type posts, that’s the problem. I thought I made that clear in my article but maybe not. I actually believe it was another teen posting it because he wrote that he was ” losing followers like crazy”.

          She didn’t deny having seen some pornographic images so there was nothing really to lie about. She said she didn’t anticipate that the user that posted the porn that I saw would have been posting it back to back like he was that day. Apparently the people who unfollowed him didn’t anticipate it either.

          The point is Tumblr can actually help adults/parents protect children from experiencing that on their sites by putting a disclaimer on adult sites , and giving users a way to block/flag posts on tumblr. Another way they can help protect children is by establishing an age barrier, so that if a teen follows a blogger who begins posting pornographic images, gifs, it won’t appear on their dash if they are under 18.

          1. Avatar of WonTonChinWonTonChin

            Sorry to come into this thread so late, but his post by Professor S I feel is probably a lie (or at least some sad attempt at justification).  There is no way I am buying the idea that your daughter innocently followed a totally non-porn Tumblr and on the very day that you decided to use her laptop you coincidentally stumble on the very first time a Tumblr blogger posted a bunch of hardcore porn images.   If this is truly the ase, you can easily post a link to the blog in question and we can all look at the archive.

            Get real, and start embracing honesty.  Your daughter was experimenting with porn viewing and you are irked by that.  She did this experimenting on Tumblr that has very little safeguards against her ability to find the porn.  You histrionic post and mock exasperation is so disingenuous I almost vomited.

  11. Avatar of Anna CAnna C

    If they’re soliciting minors to view pornography (via follows or misleading first posts), they’re violating the law of the country where the site is hosted, not just the ToS. Generally when I’ve mentioned things like that to support (support@tumblr.com), the accounts are suspended. Unfortunately again it’s only by checking that you can find out.

    1. Avatar of Professor SProfessor S

      Wow, I’m surprised that you mentioned something and they removed the accounts. From the response I received it seemed as if they could care less.

      But seriously, how did you or they determine that the blogs were soliciting minors with misleading posts?

      1. Avatar of Anna CAnna C

        If they’re spamming a lot of people without regard to who those people are, they’re potentially soliciting minors, and that’s violation. But I had to look at them myself before I reported them, and I also emphasized the spam aspect. And I e-mailed support, not an individual staff member.

        I’m not against there BEING porn tumblrs. I’m against them spamming me in a quest for pageviews.

        1. Avatar of Professor SProfessor S

          I contacted support, too. But it was Marc LaFountain who responded to me specifically.

          I’m not against there being porn Tumblrs!!! I agree with you. I don’t want to be solicited and I don’t want my daughter being solicited either. That’s just one problem I have.

    1. Avatar of Professor SProfessor S

      Hi Sara,

      Hopefully he hasn’t been exposed to it, but just in case it doesn’t hurt to mention it, or maybe take a look at your son’s archive, and see what he’s been reblogging. Of course, that won’t let you know what is coming up on his dash, but you can take a look at a few of the people he’s following, their archives, and see what comes up. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you!!!

  12. Avatar of Mona Se QuedaMona Se Queda

    I’ve never encountered “the dark side” of Tumblr (except for once when a p0rn blog started to follow me and I promptly blocked them). However, it is pretty obvious that I am old (for Tumblr standards) and not going to be interested in said blogs so I think they don’t take interest in me either.

    However, I have a few people who I follow who will (randomly) throw in an explicit gif or picture in their blogs of otherwise SFW posts. I always feel conflicted about what to do in these cases, because I don’t consider myself a prude, but I also like to keep my dash SFW (even though I don’t check it there). I have unfollowed people who do this too often.

    tl;dr I understand your frustrations and I had never realized how such p0rn blogs are able to target younger users.

    1. Avatar of Professor SProfessor S

      Thanks, Mona. I don’t like suprises on my dash!!!! Can you tell?

      It’s kind of hard to predict what a person may start blogging out of the blue, and you have to sort of believe there’s some good faith and sound judgment there from the start, which isn’t always the case.

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