Tumblr’s Community Guidelines draw lines about harmful content that is not allowed on the platform. These are some of the categories included in their policies:
Tumblr prohibits behaviors like targeted abuse, unwanted sexualization, sexual harassment, or any form of cyberbullying. The platform encourages users to be proactive and report if someone is sending unwanted messages or reblogging posts in an abusive way.
Tumblr offers a tool to report harassment (See next section) and encourages users to notify them of abusive behaviors or unwanted messages. The platform moderates content using a “mix of machine-learning classification and human moderation”. A group of trained experts analyzes the reports to “make nuanced contextual decisions”. If a content gets flagged, the user who posts it will receive a notification and will have the opportunity to appeal.
You can report violations of the policies with separate online forms for each category:
On each form, you will be asked for:
Tumblr’s Trust & Safety Team will review your report, and if the reported content violates the Community Guidelines, then any of the following may occur:
If you feel that your case wasn’t handled adequately (e.g., they rejected your report, abusive posts have not been deleted, harasser’s profile is not suspended, etc.), you should try to contact the platform again and provide any additional information that would affect the outcome of your complaint.
Additionally, you can encourage your friends and family to report the harassment because more reports make it more likely that the platform will take it down. Remember that if you are worried about your safety, you should contact the Police or your local law enforcement agency.
Finally, keep in mind that you are not alone in the struggle, and there is a HeartMob community that could support you – visit this page to request help. Try to remember that even if the harassment doesn’t meet Tumblr’s criteria, your experience and feelings matter and you deserve support. For instance, HeartMobbers can submit third-party reports to Tumblr.
(See the steps that have been taken by other platforms here)
Only the person who is experiencing harassment can report it. However, bystanders can report other abuses on behalf of someone else including promotion or glorification of self-harm, harm to minors, violent threat, or privacy violation.
Bystander involvement helps to curb the harassment and shows the victim that they are supported by the community. Learn more about how you can help people experiencing harassment here.
Remember that before you report it, it’s a best practice to screenshot the harassment.
To report a post:
To report an entire blog:
Depending on the violation you’re reporting, Tumblr might ask you a few extra questions.
Report a spam message:
Report a group chat:
According to Tumblr
“you can report a group chat as a whole by tapping the group chat’s name and then selecting “Report” from the meatballs menu. Owners can also remove any individual or a specific message by tapping the avatar of the member in question and removing them from the group chat”.
It’s really important to take time out to take care of yourself. Explore our self-care guides and get some tips on how to do it.
Blocking is a good option to prevent you from being harassed but keep in mind that blocking can mask threads and one of the concerns in doing so is that it might make risk assessment more difficult. If you’re scared for your physical and mental safety, consider getting a trusted friend or family member to monitor your account instead.
If you decide to block, you have the following options:
From the user profile:
You can also use the meatballs menu on any post in your dashboard to block a blog.
From your blog settings page:
From post notes:
From a messaging conversation:
From your mobile or web inbox:
From a push notification (for follows, mentions, or messages):
Tap the “Block” button that comes up when you do the following:
Tumblr also offers a feature called ‘Ask’, which allows users to submit questions directly to a blog. Questions can be answered privately or publicly and ‘askers’ can choose to submit a question as themselves or as an anonymous phantom. Please consider that “if you got an anonymous ‘Ask’, it may not be associated with any particular account, which means you cannot really block the person that sent it”. When you hit ‘Block’ on an anonymous ‘Ask’, you are blocking the IP address the ‘Ask’ came from. According to Tumblr, any further anonymous ‘asks’ sent from that address will never see the inside of your ask box and there is no way to unblock an anonymous IP address.
The person sending unwanted anonymous ‘Asks’ could still send you more from another IP address. In this case, you could disable anonymous ‘Asks’ or even disable the ask feature entirely in your blog settings (under the account menu at the top of the dashboard).
These organizations have resources for individuals experiencing online harassment
According to Tumblr, when you block someone:
Just a note for anyone with secondary blogs: when you block someone, you will be blocking them from a specific blog on your account, not all of them. If you want to block someone from all of your blogs, then you will have to add them to each block list.
Tumblr does not tell people when you block them, but they might realize it on their own if, say, they try to reblog one of your posts and are prevented from doing so.
No, because Tumblr is a public blog, anything you post can be seen by the public at large. Even if you block someone, they could still theoretically visit your URL and read your posts, just like any other member of the public. If they try to actually interact with your posts, though, they will be denied.
Tumblr does not notify the user being reported of the specific allegations being made against them. However, if the platform takes action on the complaint, the user will be notified if the content is removed from their account, or if their account is ultimately terminated.
If you are being harassed, learn more about your rights here.
If you’re being targeted, you can decide to make your blog harder to access. This is a hard, and unfair decision to have to make, because ultimately the world needs your voice in it. That said, your safety is a priority. You may choose to limit access to your blog permanently, or just for a short period of time until the harassment stops.
Password-protect your blog:
You can make a blog password-protected so that only you, visitors to which you give the password, and Tumblr users you add as members can access it.
According to Tumblr’s policies,
“you can customize the theme and add members just like any other secondary blog, but the blog cannot be followed (and therefore won’t show up in anyone’s dashboard), and its posts cannot be liked or reblogged”.
Keep in mind that password protection is only available for secondary blogs.
To password protect your blog:
Learn some tips on how to boost your privacy from our Technical Safety Guide
Hide your blog from people who aren’t logged in:
Avoid people finding you via your email address:
On the app:
On the web:
Hide your blog from search results:
In the app:
On the web:
Tumblr clarifies that “sometimes the cached version of a Tumblr blog or post may remain on a search engine for some time, even after it’s removed from Tumblr or you’ve hidden it from search engines”.
Hide your activity status:
You can turn off the green dot that indicates when you’ve been on Tumblr recently,
In the app:
On the web:
On the web:
Keep in mind:
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an alternative you can use to make it especially difficult for anyone other than you to access your account. When you activate this option, you’ll need a unique, single-use code (sent via text or generated by an authenticator app) to log into your account aside from your regular login info. This is a really useful tool to activate especially when you’re facing a lot of online harassment or abuse because it will ensure that it doesn’t escalate to taking over your account.
Get more tips on how to improve your digital safety here.
If you or someone you know is having a tough time or just needs to talk to someone, Tumblr offers a list of resources for that purpose. These can be found at their Counseling and Prevention Resources page.
You can also explore Right To Be’s tools and Heartmob’s resources. Also, learn how other social media platforms are responding to online harassment here.