Tumblr Blocks Porn—Sort Of

Jul 18, 2013

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When Yahoo bought Tumblr in May, they assured Tumblr users that Yahoo would not block their pornographic blogs. Tumblr is known for being very open about nudity on users’ blogs. That freedom to post whatever you want is not going away, but Yahoo is starting to restrict how you find those inappropriate blogs. Blogs with nudity on them are flagged and categorized into two types: NSFW (Not Safe For Work), and Adult. NSFW blogs are those that are generally appropriate, but “contain occasional nudity or mature/adult-oriented content.” Adult blogs are those that “contain substantial nudity or mature/adult-oriented content.” Clearly, neither of those are blogs that your teenagers need to be looking at.

If a user is already subscribed to either of these types of blog, nothing will change. They’ll still see the blogs when using Tumblr. If a user is not subscribed though, Adult blogs will only show up if someone else posts a link to it on Tumblr. NSFW blogs are easier to find. They will still appear in searches on and off the site. If you are not logged into Tumblr, they will not appear on your Dashboard. They will also not appear on tag pages if you browse in Safe Mode when you are logged in, and they will not appear in mobile apps.

This is kind of a middle of the road solution. It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough. These inappropriate blogs are still out there; it’s just harder to find them now.  If you’re concerned about what kind of content your teens might be seeing on Tumblr, look into a social network monitoring solution such as Net Nanny Social. Net Nanny Social will monitor everything your child does on Tumblr and other popular social networking sites, and send reports to you if there is anything inappropriate.

I work for Net Nanny and all opinions are my own.