Blogging is a popular activity that is preferred by many to express and share their opinions, practices and activities. There are many blogging sites offered by such companies; however, one of the most popular free sites for blogging is Tumblr. It is a social networking and microblogging site that was created in 2007 by David Karp. Automattic Inc., a global distribution company, is the current owner of Tumblr.
Tumblr allows its users to create blog posts, follow other bloggers, comment on the blog posts, and provides a “dashboard” interface to follow and keep a track of the posts created by bloggers. This site allows for a lot of creativity, but it also has a number of problems that could be a source of danger for a user. We shall examine both advantages and disadvantages of using Tumblr.
PROS OF TUMBLR:
- Allows creativity:
As a blogging site, Tumblr allows a lot of creativity and free space to users. If you are to open an account on Tumblr, you will encounter a diversity of blogs that offer a variety of creative content. Tumblr always has space for creative content, be it linguistics, history, art, music, humorous blogs, etc.
- Diversity of blogs:
Tumblr offers a diverse look into the ways of life of the people. Anyone can post on their blogs, and this lets people know about the different walks of life. Here at Tumblr, the team strives to create a healthy learning environment which will benefit, educate and entertain all users.
- Positive outlook on LGBTQQ+ content:
Tumblr is vocally very supportive of the LGBTQ+ community, and regularly posts positive content that pays homage and respect to the community. Tumblr decided to exclude LGBTQ content from the adult blogs in 2018, saying the gender, identity and body positive content created by the community does not fall under the purview of offensive adult content,
- Lack of bombarding advertisements:
While Tumblr does use advertisements as a source of revenue, the advertisements are well placed, and subtle for the most part. Unlike other social networking sites, Tumblr does not alternate posts on a dashboard with advertisements. They are far and few in number. Tumblr’s algorithms create a subtle space for ads.
- Appeals to a younger audience:
A social networking site depends on younger users for a larger usage of the app. Tumblr scores well on that account, because most of its user base consists of a younger audience, and is geared toward the age group between teenagers, young adults and tricenarians.
Users prefer Tumblr because of the simplicity of the site. Setting up a blog takes but a matter of minutes, and you can choose what blogs, and what types of content you want to follow. You can customise your blog, post or save drafts to post later, and follow as well as be followed by other users.
The Tumblr dashboard is a place for you to navigate through post and blogs by other people. You can comment and repost these blogs if you like, and these reposts will appear on your blog so that your followers can see. The dashboard also suggests blog posts that you could follow, and such blogs are usually connected to the kind of post and blogs you like.
- Visually appealing:
Tumblr is a visually aesthetic site, that offers people the ability to post creative, informational, entertaining content through the medium of pictures, GIFs, videos, and most commonly, writing. These writings range from short captions to long paragraphs, to suit a blogger’s wish. The site tries a visually appealing approach, and takes great pains to be one of the most well liked blogs in the world.
CONS OF TUMBLR:
- Sexually explicit content:
In a survey conducted by TechCrunch in 2013, the consensus read that over 22% traffic generated by Tumblr contained extremely sexually explicit and prnographic content. With such a large user base composed of adolescents, the site needs a rating higher than parental guidance to be able to be used.
- Blind-eye attitude towards hate speech:
Tumblr has been strangely quite tolerant of hate speech, and has taken its own sweet time to take down certain posts instead of whole blogs where hate speech is explicitly mentioned. This habit of turning a blind eye towards blogs that openly sport hate speech is a troubling aspect of Tumblr, and one that cannot be ignored.
- Troubling rumors of dark web connexion:
There have been rumours of the connection between Tumblr and the dark web for some time. Dark web is a deep part of the internet that cannot be accessed by search engines, and there have been many instances of illegal activity conducted in dark web. Recently, the company rolled out its ban on pornography after it yanked out a blog that dabbled in child pornography.
- Privacy settings are limited:
On Tumblr, the privacy settings are limited, which is a source of concern, especially since the user age is 13. The safe mode on Tumblr filters out a lot of explicit content, but that is not a strong enough barrier. Explicit content can be found on searching specific words, and the tags that are used on a post can also take a user to unsavoury blogs.
- The vast presence of bots:
Bot chats connect with blogs usually for nefarious purposes — hacking confidential matters, creating groups to send pornographic content, and to create server problems. Bots are extremely annoying, and flourish under the lax eye of the staff behind Tumblr. Users have been vocal about wanting the reduction of bots in the site, but no constructive step has yet been taken.
Therefore, if you are an adolescent using Tumblr, make sure you or your guardians enable safe protocols to avoid being taken advantage of by malicious people hiding behind blogs. Parents should monitor their children’s online presence to be careful. Tumblr is a site that encourages creativity and various interests, but it also has a lot of issues it needs to resolve before it can be deemed safe enough for youngsters.
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