Common Sense Media says

Vibrant blogging site gives easy access to adult content.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Messages are a mixed bag. Some posts are positive with supportive comments; others are heavy on snark and pop culture.

Violence

Teens can find descriptions, images, and videos of both fantasy and real-life violence, which is sometimes bloody.

Sex

Tumblr prohibits "obscene, pornographic, abusive, indecent" behavior and members younger than 18. However, text, images, and videos depicting full nudity and sex acts are rampant on the site and extremely easy to find.

Language

Watch out for pottymouth including "s--t" and the F bomb.

Consumerism

Refreshingly ad free.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Teens can easily find images and videos depicting drug use.

Privacy & safety

Tumblr has very little in the way of privacy controls. Users' first blog is public by default and cannot be changed. If teens create additional blogs (beyond their first), they have the option to password protect it; only visitors with the password are able to access a protected blog. If teens don't want communication from strangers, they can uncheck a few options in their settings page.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this online hangout is hip and creative but too raunchy for tykes. Pornographic images and video, depictions of violence and drug use, and offensive language are easy to find. Privacy can be guarded, but only through an awkward workaround given that the first profile a member creates is public and viewable by anyone on the Internet. Members desiring full privacy must create a second profile, which they can password protect.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing

Skills

Creativity

  • making new creations
  • producing new content

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • social media

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

A compelling "superblog" of text, photos, videos and audio clips. The look is sleek and inviting, but watch out for mature content.

Learning Approach

Learning is self directed and comes from publishing and viewing content in blogs. "Explore Tumblr" lists blogs devoted to a single concept such as politics. "Search" points to single posts, and the related blog may refer to other topics.

Support

There's not a lot of help provided to new users. Tumblr doesn't have its own comment tools, so bloggers who want that feature must integrate a third-party product that allows commenting.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing

Skills

Creativity

  • making new creations
  • producing new content

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • social media

Kids can learn to express themselves and explore interests as part of a blogging community. Kids who prefer visual expression will enjoy creating posts supported by Tumblr's emphasis on less text and more media. With customization options, new bloggers can design a cool publishing space. But Tumblr provides only the barest of instructions and tools. Watch out: Without guidance, kids could get lost in a seemingly endless photo album.  

This Learning Rating review was written by Michelle Kitt

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Users create short blogs, or "tumblelogs," in the context of a social network. Tumblr is unique because of the wide variety of content users can post from their cell phones. Not only can they text and post photos, they can also offer up quotes, links, music, voice messages, and videos. It all shows up on a member's page along with a stream of posts from people they're following.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Though some might pick Tumblr over Facebook or Myspace, it doesn't really compete in that space. It's more of a cross between a blog and Twitter. Think of it as a superblog, a streaming scrapbook of text, photos, videos and audio clips. The lack of a commenting feature, the oldest blog tool in the world, is rather annoying. But the look is sleek and the features Tumblr does have are often inspired. Tumblr promises good, naughty fun for the under-30 crowd, but parents should think twice about letting minors join.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can discuss the wisdom of older teens joining a site like Tumblr, which seems to have been created largely by and for twenty-somethings. The content is by turns refreshing, juvenile, inscrutable, and sexually provocative, with female members matching the guys innuendo for innuendo.

  • Families can talk about how to responsibly use social networking sites -- and how to react if someone posts something inappropriate. Set some rules for what is and isn't appropriate for your teens to communicate and post online. Posts with photos or comments about youthful misbehavior could come back to haunt them.

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Website details

Genre:Blogging
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Tumblr was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 16 years old Written byjerseyystrongg November 25, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Parents Need To Stop Blaming the Internet for their Problems

Yes, you have to use caution on these websites. There could be predators anywhere. But there is no where that it is required for personal information. I don't have a scrap of information that reveals anything about me. The most people can gather is that I love poetry, art, and travel. Instead of criticizing the website, maybe take a little time to actually teach your kids to be smart on the internet. Parents, stop blaming the internet for all of your problems. Take some time and be a parent instead of following what parenting websites say to do.

What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 17 years old Written bythinbones April 16, 2011
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

It's what you make of it.

I found the general review to be very misleading for parents. I absolutely love tumblr myself, and I'm not saying it's a bad site, but it's definitely a site that can be customized to be incredibly inappropriate. Users can follow blogs entirely dedicated to porn, drugs, and gory imagery if they want to. As much as I whole-heartedly support the site as a whole, things that some parents would coonsider shocking are extremely easy to find for users.

On another note, users are extremely interactive with one another and consider tumblr as a sort of secret society where outsiders are not welcome. I would not recommend the site for younger children, mostly because if other users find out that they are young, they will become incredibly malicious and will attack the young user through the sites "ask box" feature. Many a young teen and preteen has been mercilessly slaughtered by the unaccepting tumblr community.

Teen, 16 years old Written bySydneySays July 3, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Please keep your children off Tumblr.

As much as I love Tumblr, it is absolutely NOT for anyone under the age of 15. It's not the images on tumblr that I'm worried about (the images that appear on a dashboard depend on who you're child is following), it's the people. I won't lie, I'm guilty of being a jerk to someone on tumblr just because they were 12, because if you're 12, you don't belong on tumblr. When I was 12, I had neopets, that's where your 12 year old's should be. For your child's sanity, and you're own, don't let them make a Tumblr, people ARE jerks and will use any excuse to act out on the internet.

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