The Disadvantages of Tumblr

By Avery Martin

Tumblr provides a platform for creative minds to discuss concepts, display artwork and broadcast music. As of February 2014, Tumblr boasts more than 170 million blogs with more than 77 billion posts. The large community of users makes Tumblr an effective tool for connecting with others, but the blogging giant's service also comes with certain disadvantages.


Anonymity provides protection for users that want to freely voice opinions without repercussions. However, anonymity can also protect trolls and other malicious users that aim only to attack and promote hateful speech. Due to Tumblr's anonymous message system, anonymous users can send bloggers hate mail and threats without any accountability. Unlike Tumblr blogs, blogs created with competing services such as Blogger and WordPress offer the option to require users to log in to an account before posting messages and comments. Comment moderation and authentication can help to maintain accountability for user actions and comments.

Yahoo Acquisition

When Yahoo bought Tumblr in 2013, news agencies speculated that the acquisition could negatively affect the culture that Tumblr managed to create among users. Tumblr users tend toward privacy and anonymity and enjoy freely expressing opinionated statements. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer went so far as to famously tweet the line, "We Promise Not to Screw It Up." However, many view Yahoo's plans to monetize the site with advertising campaign revenue as an act against the mission of Tumblr. As advertisers generally restrict the types of sites that ads may appear on along with the anonymous data collection typically required to sell targeted advertisements, users might fear that the new policies may interfere with free expression.

Age Restrictions

The Australian government warns that Tumblr requires users to reach the age of 13 before using the service. Some of the risks of using Tumblr to promote your blog involves that fact that you may on occasion come across inappropriate content. Tumblr allows users to post adult content and this may make creating a safe environment for expressing ideas to all ages an inadequate option. The lack of a reporting feature on Tumblr makes it more difficult for users to report content deemed illegal or abusive. Users must email support with concerns about specific blogs and users.

Domain-Based Hosting

Tumblr requires you to use the Tumblr platform and servers to host your blog. WordPress, Blogger and other platforms provide options for hosting a blog using the software on your own website, allowing greater control over the up-time and content uploaded to the blog and saved within backup archives. On a domain-based blog, you can keep all the images and content on your own server without needing to rely upon Tumblr to host your content. The ability to host your own blog would provide users with more privacy as well.