This One Tumblr Feature Helps Cyber Bullies

This One Tumblr Feature Helps Cyber Bullies

Why Tumblr should lose the "anonymous" feature to help stop cyberbullying
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I like my Tumblr blog. It gives me a way to connect with fans of different books, movies and TV shows that I enjoy. It's an artistic outlet that lets its users create text posts, photos, gifs and movies. There is something for everyone on Tumblr.

So what's my problem with Tumblr?

My problem with Tumblr is that it allows for people to anonymously submit messages or questions to users. In this day and age, when cyberbullying is a national crisis, it is unconscionable that there is a major social media platform that allows this. It's time that the powers that be at Tumblr acknowledge this and get rid of this feature.

Now, I've actually gone back and forth with Tumblr on this issue before. It was back in the fall of 2015. There was a particularly nasty Tumblr account that existed for the sole purpose of posting anonymous comments about those applying to or participating in the Disney College Program. By and large, the messages on this account were negative. At least 95 percent of the anonymous messages posted directly targeted an individual or a group of people. To be fair, full names weren't allowed by this Tumblr's moderators. Initials and first names with last initials were allowed, however.

I'm not going to sugarcoat this. This Tumblr directly and irreparably targeted friends of mine. Heinous things were said. They were said about people who were already facing a lot of personal challenges. The people posting had no idea what the subjects of these anonymous messages were going through in real life. It could have ended disastrously. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

Now, I went to Tumblr and I sent the legal and government definitions of cyberbullying, accompanied by specific examples from the blog in question. Others did the same. The response I got from Tumblr was that the account in question didn't violate any of Tumblr's community standards.

A blog that checks off every single component in the government's provided and chosen definition of cyberbulling didn't violate Tumblr's community standards. Needless to say, Tumblr did not deactivate the account, warn the account holder, or do anything at all.

I was enraged. I'm still enraged. I took matters into my own hands and dealt with the blog's moderators directly. I got them to shut the blog down. However, a new one that was dedicated to the same purpose appeared less than a week later. The moderators of this new blog were not as reasonable as the first had been and they did not shut down the blog when I approached.

Now, let me clarify something. This is important. I did not ask them to shut their blogs down completely. The first blog chose to but all I asked was for them to stop posting anonymous messages that targeted specific people and groups. I had and still don't have any problem with them having a blog or posting any content that isn't cyberbullying.

I'm one person. I can't take down every blog on Tumblr that allows other users or other individuals to be harassed under the mask of anonymity. You can be sure that there are still Tumblrs out there on which bullying occurs.

To be blunt, it's the fact that Tumblr allows for users to submit anonymous messages and allows blog owners to publish the anonymous messages on their blog. We have seen time and time again how the Internet has only increased instances of bullying. People feel more comfortable saying things about or to people from behind a screen because there isn't any direct contact. You don't have to see the person. You don't have to hear their response.

Add sanctioned anonymity to the mix and you are begging teenagers to misuse it. These kids don't even have to create fake profiles or accounts because they can click a button and become anonymous and post anything they want. How is this feature a good thing?

if you, your friends, your children have ever experienced bullying you know how damaging it can be, even if it doesn't end tragically. I urge you to talk to your friends and kids about how to properly use the Internet. Most of all, I urge you to join me in asking Tumblr to remove the anonymous feature from its site.

Cover Image Credit: Word Pulse

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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To Love a Broken Vase — An Ode To Valentine's Day

"To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides." --David Viscott, How to Live with Another Person, 1974

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I remember an anecdote my elementary school teacher told us in the fifth grade. When a mother is pregnant with a child, they feel comfortable in their flesh. Provided with everything they needed to survive, they don't have to worry about anything. It's not until after they are born and the umbilical chord is severed that they realized they were not good enough, and insecurities fester.

I went through a similar process when I was growing up. Contained within my family and books, I felt like I held the world in my hands. It was not until high school where I seriously sought out others for company and wanted to apply myself to the social universe. And I saw myself changing in not only my behaviors, but how I see myself within the world.

With working hard to get good grades, with trying to get my driver's license, and becoming a better person overall, I realized the process involved a lot more effort than I ever had expected. And I found myself unprepared for the slow drudgery of it all. While I once pushed through to get things done, now I find myself giving up on projects while coming up with new ones. I frequently turned to my laptop for solace, as it kept my fantasies alive, but it also stole time away from me.

These behaviors showed in my relationships: I found it hard to meet up with friends, and my parents started worrying about what would my future look like. With the latter, I've had multiple conflicts with them, with me asserting I wanted to be free from everything, including accountability. Of course, that perception was quite unrealistic — to love and be loved, as well as to succeed, there has to a tug to know when you're doing something wrong.

***

A year ago, I wrote an article about how I saw romantic love from somebody who has never been in a relationship. Many things still apply today — I'm better off working towards my educational and career goals than seeking out love, though with Valentine's Day, it still fascinates me on whether or not I could be loved from somebody else.

From what I've heard from others, they would be charmed by my intelligence and kindness, neither fulfilling the stereotype of a nerd nor the perfect angel. However, the naivete would also put someone off, and potentially puts them in danger. I also see myself as the spontaneous type, but to the point where I forget where my priorities are, again making them worse than they really are. I imagine they would be intrigued by me as a friend or a lover, but end up breaking away after a short amount of time.

I don't imagine finding myself loving other people in the short term; however, I find myself open towards others. And that what makes me more afraid about how people view me--will they not be able to see the positives in myself when the time comes? Will they be just as capable of forgiving me the same way my family does?

At the end, I should take my friend's advice for Valentine's Day — love oneself. And take actions to make sure that I can love myself deeper and further.

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