Tumblr: The Social Media Platform (Rated 17+, Social Networking)

Tumblr is a free blogging platform that attempts to make it as simple as possible to post and share whatever you want. It allows you to submit quotes, links, audio, slideshows, video, and text. It is also a social network in many aspects, allowing Tumblr users to follow each other, republish each other’s posts and material, and comment. Tumblr, used by personal bloggers and multinational media corporations such as the New York Times and the Guardian, is simple, even for those new to computers and the internet.

Why Is Tumblr So Popular Among Children and Teens?

With over 167 billion Tumblr posts, the platform provides children and teens a place to discover people who share similar interests or investigate niche topics. It also combines blogging and social networking under one roof, allowing young people to obtain a real-time response to their posts and build a community around a similar interest or issue.

One characteristic of Tumblr that sets it apart from other content publishing feed apps is its culture. The community on the Tumblr app is primarily slanted toward atypical interests. It promotes an environment of estranged people who can have a place to share such kinds of content.

What Should Parents Know About Tumblr?

The app store rating says it all: “The Wild West of Social Media.” People post whatever they want. Furthermore, you do not need an account to view everything posted. Users can download the app or search using keywords on Tumblr’s website to view feeds.

Complicated Privacy Settings

Tumblr’s privacy settings can be challenging. Primary Tumblr accounts are all open to the public. Outsiders can easily remark on posts and send people direct messages. An account cannot be made private unless the user starts a second Tumblr blog under a different name, which most users do not.

Default Safe Search Option Is Easily Bypassed

Safe searching is the default for Tumblr profiles. However, a straightforward search and your child or teen can quickly turn it off. Tumblr has banned pornographic content in recent years (it was a well-known hub for pornography feeds since 2007), but there is still a plethora of inappropriate content to browse once safe searching has been turned off. That is to say, not all adult content is efficiently blocked by using this filter.

Parental Controls

Aside from a built-in safe searching filter, the Tumblr app does not feature parental controls.

Potential Problems

Creative Loopholes for Getting To Adult Content

Pornographic content can still be found on Tumblr, according to some user reviews. However, it must be accessed by bypassing the “sensitive content” filter. This is simple enough for your child or teen to do with a brief search online.

Taps Into Identity Assimilating Characteristics

As previously mentioned, the culture of Tumblr is proudly portrayed as strange. The language used in branded descriptions speaks to younger audiences looking to fit in with groups. The Tumblr app encourages users to find confidence in a deviant mindset and approach to content sharing. Another terminology gathered from user reviews describes browsing content on the Tumblr app as a “rabbit hole.”


I do not recommend your child or teen spend time browsing, posting, or commenting on Tumblr.

If your child uses Tumblr, it is essential to ensure they understand some of the following safety features and how to report any content that upsets them. Also, make them aware of the content they may encounter and advise them on what steps to take if they encounter problems on the platform.

It can be a good idea to check over the platform with your child to see what people are posting and if the safety features are adequate to protect your child or teen. No matter what the Tumblr app provides for safety filtering, you could get the best internet activity monitoring from Bark!

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About the Author

Clayton Cranford
Clayton Cranford is a retired Sergeant from Orange County Sheriff's Department in California and owner of Total Safety Solutions LLC. Clayton is one of the nation’s leading law enforcement educators on social media, child safety, and behavioral threat assessments. Clayton is the author of the definitive book on cyber safety for families, “Parenting in the Digital World.” Clayton has more than 20 years of teaching experience and was awarded the 2015 National Bullying Prevention Award from the School Safety Advocacy Council, and the 2015 American Legion Medal of Merit. Clayton was a member of the County's Behavioral Threat Assessment Team, Crisis Negotiation Team, School Resource Officer program, and Juvenile Bureau.