Tumblr Without Violence Guide

THE BASICS

What youth on Tumblr need to know


How does Tumblr address Cyberviolence?

Users can report violations of Community Guidelines (e.g., malicious speech, harm to minors, etc.) to Tumblr with separate online forms to report each violation. If the violation fits into more than one category, then choose the category that fits best. If it doesn’t fit into any category or requires a longer description than is allowed, then you can report it to Tumblr directly. Tumblr’s Trust & Safety Team will review your report, and if the reported content violates the Community Guidelines the abuser will receive notice, their content may be banned, Tumblr may remove abusive content and/or Tumblr may also suspend or delete the abuser’s account. 


Terms of Service

 As a Tumblr user, you:

  • Must be 13-years-of-age or older
  • Must provide Tumblr with accurate, complete, and updated registration information, particularly your email address.
  • Must not “do bad things to Tumblr or to other users.” Examples here.
  • Must not violate Tumblr's Community Guidelines.
  • Are responsible for keeping your account password private and maintaining the security of your account.
  • Must acknowledge that your original content is your responsibility. This means that Tumblr is not responsible for your content or intellectual property when it comes to abuse and copyright infringements.[1] 
  • Retain ownership over any intellectual property you post to Tumblr.
  • Are entitled to any royalties or reimbursements earned by your intellectual property. 
  • Must respect copyright and not steal the intellectual property of others.[2] 
  • Acknowledge that you may be exposed to content that might be harmful or offensive to you.
  • Must not share spam.*
  • Must not solicit login information or access another user’s account.
  • Must not bully, intimidate, threaten, harass or target other users.
  • Must not use Tumblr to engage in illegal activity.
  • Must not upload viruses or other malicious code to Tumblr.
  • Must not post other users’ private or confidential information.
  • Acknowledge that you use Tumblr at your own risk.[3] 

*Spam is any unsolicited—usually irrelevant or inappropriate—message sent on the internet to a large number of recipients


TUMBLR...

  • Does not own your content. However, becoming an Instagram user gives the platform permission to use your intellectual property[4] —photos, videos, etc—for free*. [5] 
  • Is not responsible for your content or promotions.
  • Reserves the right to delete content it does not approve of.
  • Does not check all posts for content violating its Community Standards.
  • Is not responsible for your data plan or phone bill.
  • Is allowed to change its user agreement without telling you.
  • Reserves the right to delete your account if it cannot guarantee all content offending its Community Standards will be removed within a certain time frame.
  • Maintains servers and operations in the United States. Therefore, its policies and procedures are in accordance with American law.

* Note: This means Tumblr does not have to pay you royalties or any compensation to use the content you upload to the platform. Even if you delete content, Tumblr may have backup copies or access to content that has been re-shared by other users and not deleted yet.


Learn more about Tumblr’s Community Guidelines.

LEARN MORE: Download Hollabacks!’s Tumblr Safety Guide.


Some things we think Tumblr is doing well to tackle cyberviolence!

These recommendations were created in collaboration with the Purple Sisters Youth Advisory Committee of Ottawa

  • Tumblr allows different users to report harassment. The person who has been victimized by harassment can report, a legal representative of the victim can report and bystanders can also report harassment.
  • Tumblr promotes bystander intervention to make Tumblr a safer platform and help prevent abuse and harassment.
  • Tumblr allows users the option of private or public blogs to control their content privacy.
  • Bystanders can report harassment on someone else’s behalf using this form. They will be asked for: The URL of the content being reported, Email address & Name (Optional)
  • Tumblr accepts screenshots as evidence for harassment, however users must report directly to them. And screenshots can only be used as evidence for specific violations.​
  • Tumblrs new community standards policies have stronger language. Now Tumblr actively and explicitly does not condone harassment and moves beyond the narrative of “don’t be mean” which has trivialized violence and abuse in the past.
  • Tumblr has multiple reporting categories for dealing with harm, abuse & harassment. Including malicious speech, promotion or glorification of self-harm, sexually explicit content, Username/URL abuse or squatting, Spam, Harassment, etc.
  • Tumblr has detailed & explicit definitions of certain reporting categories. For example, Tumblr states in its Malicious Speech category “Especially don’t do so on the basis of things like race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, gender identity, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation.”
  • Tumblr does not notify users when they are blocked. Tumblr also prevents users from tagging you if you blocked them. However, it is pretty obvious when a user has been blocked from another users page and this could pose a safety issue.
  • Tumblr allows users the option of controlling their privacy by way of public or private blog. This means users can consent and control the visibility of their content and posts. Moreover, users can toggle between these two types of blogs.
  • Tumblr added “Safe Mode” which lets you filter out not safe for work (NSFW) content from tag and search pages. 
  • While all primary profiles are public on Tumblr, users can set individual posts as private as a way to protect their information.
  • Tumblr wants you to know that a real human being on the Tumblr Trust & Safety team looks at every single report.
  • Tumblr has compiled a list of counselling & prevention resources for support. 

Key recommendations for Tumblr on tackling cyberviolence

These recommendations were created in collaboration with the Purple Sisters Youth Advisory Committee of Ottawa.

Tumblr should. . .

  • Diversify its leadership—including expanding opportunities for women and LGBTQ+ people.
  • Hold online abusers better accountable for their actions.
  • Expand the definition of “harassment” to include online gender-based violence and use hate speech instead of malicious speech. 
  • Make it easier to permanently delete a users’ account—including making information on how to delete an account easier to find and read.
  • Take proactive steps to monitor and filter content for abuse or harassment, as well as allowing users to set up their own filters for content they do not wish to see. Even if users choose to receive anonymous comments and messages. 
  • Provide users the ability to block other users regardless of whether or not the user they wish to block has already blocked them.
  • On Tumblr anyone, whether you are signed into the platform or not, can view photos or videos on someone's public profile. Perhaps Tumblr can change this to ensure Tumblr users' privacy. This could be particular helpful in cases of intimate partner violence and stalking.
  • Ensure the teams responding to reports of cyberviolence have training on gender-based violence issues informed by experts in the field—including frontline workers and survivors of cyberviolence.
  • Prioritize reviewing reports related to harassment or abuse.
  • Instead of “legal representatives” allow survivors to nominate authorized delegates & advocates (trusted people) who can report and deal with the reporting process on their behalf to assist them with additional stress, triggers and violence.
  • Adopt & advocate for Open Certificate Transparency Monitoring, which offers the ability to know the certificates a CT-enforcing browser will trust. This gives social media platforms more capacity to monitor and verify malicious access, certificates and code from third parties.
  • Restrict or completely shut down third party applications.
  • Make safety and support services accessible to users—including providing easy to find and easy to read information on local support services.
  • Build long-term partnerships with anti-violence experts and frontline workers.
  • Explore the possibility of offering a private profile option.

Read our general recommendations for social media platforms.

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