This past weekend I blocked access to Tumblr.com from my home wireless network.
I’ve been blocking porn sites using OpenDNS for a long time. But Tumblr.com doesn’t fall into the category of porn site in the OpenDNS directory. It falls into the social media category. However, make no mistake, there is a large part of the Tumblr network this is dedicated to porn. Porn is actually part of Tumblr’s meteoric rise, and it’s easy to access. Just do a simple search on Google for Tumblr and porn and you can see for yourself. Or go to Tumblr and search under the tag #erotic. Be warned, it’s not safe for work.
Tumblr is aware of their porn issues. In fact, Tumblr is doing everything it can to NOT get labeled a porn app in the iTunes store. And I believe Tumblr’s actions are a symptom of why Internet safety lessons are being urged for 5-year-olds. “We are facing an e-safety time bomb,” Claire Lilley, of the NSPCC, said. “Young people tell us they are experiencing all sorts of new forms of abuse on scale never before seen.”
And while I have hosted JustDugUp.com on Tumblr since the first days of Tumblr’s launch, I have blocked access to it from within my house. It’s unfortunate. Tumblr has a lot of very redeeming qualities. And I have good friends who use Tumblr wisely for business.
Tumblr Should Be Doing More To Limit Porn Access To Children
As a popular social sharing site for teens and tweens, Tumblr should be doing more to provide parents with the tools and information they require to limit access to areas of their site that are overrun by porn, and limit the possibility of exposure to those seeking to prey on children. Or provide a way for sites like OpenDNS to help parents by selectively limiting access.
Why, besides the obvious? Here’s a staggering number, of the 3765 calls about internet abuse that came into the ChildLine last year, 250 involved children being groomed for sex. This was in the United Kingdom. I can only imagine what the numbers would be in the United States, with five times the population.
So, until Tumblr takes actions to limit access to porn by children, it will be blocked on my home network.