It can be pretty easy to stumble upon sensitive material online, whether it’s due to user error or simply the nature of what you’re looking at.
While this can be an uncomfortable experience in most cases, it’s especially troubling when you come across content that deals with the extreme or taboo subject matter (e.g., child pornography, images of executions, etc.).
However, a recent update to Tumblr’s Terms of Service has some users worried about how the site will handle these situations moving forward, particularly with regard to reporting objectionable material and raising awareness about dangerous content on Tumblr.
How does Tumblr work?
Tumblr is a microblogging platform and social networking website founded by David Karp in 2007.
The service allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog. Users can follow other users’ blogs, as well as make their blogs private.
Much of the website’s features are accessed from the dashboard interface, where the option to post content and messages is available.
One notable feature is Reblogs, which enables users to repost items that they find interesting.
Other features include tags, which are keywords that help categorize posts; likes, which let readers express appreciation for posts; and follows, which serve as an indicator of each user’s preferences.
According to the company, as of December 2012 Tumblr hosted more than 230 million blogs.
As of January 2014, it had 100 million registered users who produce approximately 12 billion posts per year (7 billion on mobile).
In April 2013 Yahoo! announced plans to acquire Tumblr in a deal valued at $1.1 billion, though this deal was subsequently abandoned after much public backlash because there were issues with Yahoo!’s current Terms of Service agreement.
On May 3rd, 2013 it was confirmed that Yahoo! had bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion USD in cash with stock options worth $250 million USD.
Many people objected to Yahoo!’s previous Terms of Service agreement, stating that Yahoo! has shown contempt for its users’ privacy. There were also objections about how Yahoo! might monetize free content.
However, after some negotiation and revisions to its terms of service, the purchase went through on June 20th, 2013.
The acquisition gives Yahoo! 1.1 billion active monthly users, many of whom do not have a Yahoo! account or password, potentially increasing the site’s ad revenue potential.
It also adds 900 jobs to Yahoo!’s workforce, including well-known developers like former head designer at Digg Jason Shellen and former lead engineer Chris Zacharias, according to CEO Marissa Mayer.
Tumblr Safe Mode vs Sensitive Content
There are two types of content that can be flagged as sensitive on Tumblr: media and blogs. When you come across media that has been flagged as sensitive, you’ll see a warning message before the content loads.
If you’d like to view the content anyway, you can click through the warning. On a blog post, if the post is tagged with sensitive, you’ll see this type of content in Safe Mode. You will only see posts with tags such as nsfw in regular mode.
Additionally, if you visit a user’s dashboard while they’re not online, you won’t see any sensitive content that they’ve posted because it doesn’t show up there either.
Lastly, Tumblr offers an email notification service called Pressed which notifies subscribers when users they follow have new posts or updates.
Users who have Pressed notifications enabled for their account can subscribe to tags related to sensitive content by going into their Settings page (here).
For example, clicking Subscribe next to the nsfw tag allows you to receive emails whenever posts are tagged with NSFW. In order to unsubscribe from a tag, go back into your settings and scroll down until you find your list of subscribed tags.
How To Deal With This Error
If you’re trying to access a Tumblr blog and you see the error message This Tumblr may contain sensitive media, it means that the blog has been flagged for potentially containing NSFW content.
To view the blog, you’ll need to log in with your Tumblr account and then click through a warning page.
Users who have followed or reblogged from this blog will not be affected by the flag; they’ll just need to login. If you’re viewing a Tumblr blog and see the same error message, first make sure you’re logged in.
If you’re still seeing the same error after logging in, try clearing your browser’s cache and cookies before logging back into Tumblr again.
If you can’t resolve the issue on your own, please contact us for help. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.
A variety of people visit tumblr blogs everyday to find new interesting blogs.
Tumblr is an amazing place where many people share their opinions and passions but sometimes some of these tumblr blogs are filled with NSFW content that is unappealing to some viewers which is why Tumblr users might get frustrated when they see that This Tumblr may contain sensitive media error messages.
As social media becomes more and more commonplace, it’s important to be aware of the privacy concerns that come along with it. One such concern is sensitive media.
If you’re not familiar with the term, sensitive media refers to images or videos that depict violence, nudity, or other potentially offensive content.
Social media platforms are very limited in how they allow users to share sensitive media because they want to maintain a safe environment for all users.
For example, Twitter allows users to attach an image but restricts the viewer from downloading it and Facebook limits the audience who can see an uploaded video until the user decides to change their setting.
However, YouTube and Vimeo offer a wide range of options when it comes to sharing sensitive media which is why some people choose to post there instead. Regardless of where you decide to share your content, make sure you do so responsibly.
Why Do People Use NSFW Content?
There are many reasons why people might use NSFW content. Some people use it for sexual gratification, while others use it for shock value or to get a rise out of people.
Whatever the reason, it’s important to be aware that this type of content exists and that it may not be appropriate for all audiences.
Keep in mind that if you’re on your phone, most browsers will have an NSFW filter set up so that you can’t accidentally come across these types of sites.
If you do happen to come across an NSFW site by accident, your browser should tell you before opening it with something like This link may contain sensitive media.
It is also possible to block certain sites from showing up in search results or showing at all on your computer, depending on what browser you’re using.
How Do I Open Sensitive Media on Tumblr?
If you see a sensitive media warning on a post on Tumblr, it means that the post contains media (usually an image) that may not be suitable for all audiences.
If you’d like to view the media in question, you can do so by clicking the view media button.
The post will then open in a new tab or window with the content blocked out by a white rectangle and overlaid with warnings.
To exit this viewing mode, simply click Close or X on your browser’s toolbar. Sensitive media is often posted as part of an artistic or documentary project, educational resource, or the experience of someone who has experienced trauma.
For example, if someone has experienced sexual assault and wants to share their story through images they take of themselves after they’re assaulted, they might post those images as sensitive media on their blog or social network page.
Some people feel very strongly about these types of posts because they’re important for many people, including survivors.
Other people feel uncomfortable seeing them because they don’t want to confront such tough topics. It’s always okay to ignore these posts if you find them triggering!
How Do I Turn Off Sensitive Blocks on Tumblr?
If you’re not comfortable with seeing sensitive media on Tumblr, you can turn off the option in your settings. Here’s how Go to your account settings and select sensitive content. Toggle it off.
The downside is that this will also block images of breastfeeding and other health-related topics, which may be important for some people who use Tumblr as a way to document their health journeys.
It’ll also prevent posts containing nudity from appearing on your dashboard or search results page.
What about photos? Photos are allowed by default, but if you prefer to block all photos except those marked safe, head back over to the setting menu and toggle off all the options under ‘Photos.
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If you want Tumblr posts with sensitive media blocked completely (like our original example), you can still do so.
Head back over to ‘Sensitive Content’ where you have three options: hide all without notification, hide without notification, or hide with notification.
Why can’t I turn off Tumblr Safe Mode?
If you’re under 18 years old, or if your account is set to private, Tumblr’s Safe Mode is automatically turned on.
This feature filters out posts that contain sensitive media, like nudity or violence. As a result, it blocks NSFW content from being seen on the dashboard or in search results.
But not everyone wants this filter enabled and there are other ways for people to access explicit content by tagging it in their post with #nsfw. So what can I do?
There are three things you can do to ensure that you see all of the NSFW content on Tumblr – turn off Safe Mode, change your settings so you’re no longer under 18 years old, or make your account private.
And remember: It doesn’t matter how young you are if someone has shared inappropriate images with you!