Tumblr is the ultra-popular blogging site among young people. It’s where they make their angsty posts about how they’re offended by everything, how Trump is Hitler, and where all sorts of people are told to check their privilege. Since it is so popular among teens, it’s not uncommon for a child predator to use Tumblr to their advantage. For us internet olds, Tumblr is the heir apparent to LiveJournal.
For example, take 23-year-old Christopher David Galliway, of Fenton, Michigan. Mr. Young Combover made the 1,300 mile and 20 hour trip from his home in Felton, to College Station, Texas, where he allegedly had sex with a 16-year-old girl he had met through Tumblr. Don’t forget kids, around here we call having sex with minors child rape, and since I know you’re wondering, the age of consent in Texas is 17.
One of the features Tumblr has that parents need to be aware of is its instant messaging feature. That’s right, you have yet another messaging app to be on the lookout for. That’s not even accounting that Tumblr in itself is a very sexually charged platform. Not only is there tons of porn on Tumblr, both professional and homemade, it’s also been used in the past among child porn traders. On the Google Play Store the app is rated as Mature, which is the equivalent of an R rating for apps.
If your children are on Tumblr, there is a ton of questionable content they can be exposed to that’s probably not healthy for them. It would be worth your while not only to check out your kid’s Tumblr, but to see who they’re following as well. You never know when one of them may show up at your doorstep while you’re not home and your child is.
55-year-old Richard Russel Farley, of Traverse City, Michigan, is accused of allegedly being in possession of over 1400 child porn images. Investigators were tipped off to the alleged actions of Farley by microblogging site Tumblr after they had intercepted some of the images and reported it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Police say that the pictures had GPS information on them which they say led them to Farley.
For some reason, Farley felt the need to tell police that he “likes to dress up in a butterfly patterned ‘onesie’ and wear adult sized diapers.” Try to keep that image out of your head when you go to sleep tonight.
The other disturbing things about this crime are that not only is Tumblr used mostly by underage kids but as the 9 & 10 News article mentions, each time one of these images are viewed or shared it’s like committing another crime against the victims.
I almost forgot to mention that Farley is currently out on bond. Sleep well Michigan.
35-year-old Timothy Gilmore, of Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, has been arrested for allegedly posting child porn online of a 16-year-old girl from Fort Wayne, Indiana, but the charges don’t even come close to telling the whole story. It’s not made known in the article how Gilmore met his victim, but he allegedly used the pervert trifecta of Tumblr, Kik and Snapchat to communicate with her. According to authorities, Gilmore made the girl refer to him as ‘Master T’ while he referred to her as ‘slave’. This may indicate to some people that this was a consensual BDSM relationship, but not only did Gilmore have another woman, who the victim was made to address as Mistress, order the teen around, but Gilmore allegedly wanted the girl to live with him when she turned 18 so he could breed future sex slaves with her. The child porn charges stem from when Gilmore is said to have posted images of the girl on Tumblr. Along with Kik, Tumblr is a popular destination among child porn traders.
What is it with Missouri and guys who want sex slaves? Ok, that’s actually unfair to Missouri, but this story reminds me of Edward Bagley Sr. of Lebanon, Missouri. He took in a 16-year-old runaway and made her his personal sex slave. He not only traded her out to his friends but he sewed her vagina shut as a punishment. Sadly, that could have been the life of Gilmore’s victim if he had his way. He may be only looking at 15 years behind bars but he deserves much more.
63-year-old David A. Campbell of Virginia Beach has been charged by federal authorities with allegedly possessing over 5000 images of child porn. Authorities were tipped off by the NCMEC twice when it came to Campbell. Once by Microsoft since he was allegedly using his MSN email account to trade child porn and another time by Tumblr who noticed comments allegedly made by Campbell where he claimed to have molested 10-year-old boys. Campbell even claimed that he used the private message feature on Twitter to trade child porn but was locked out of his account. He even said that he didn’t think Twitter monitored private messages. If you think anything on the internet isn’t monitored by someone you’re in for a surprise.
Campbell reportedly said that his Tumblr comments about molesting boys was only ‘fantasy talk’. If history is any indicator he may wish he had molested boys since molesters seem to get lesser sentences than those who trade in child porn.
26-year-old James Clemens Jr. of Taylor, Pennsylvania, is a registered sex offender who was recently arrested for allegedly posting child porn to Tumblr. Clemens pleaded guilty in 2011 to bad-touching some kids at a church picnic. He’s also charged with not registering his Tumblr account with the state like I’m sure all sex offenders do.
How about instead of putting them on a registry we keep them in jail with real sentences. That will keep them from re-offending for a while.
I still don’t understand why anyone would post child porn to a service that is owned by a multi-billion dollar corporation like Yahoo and think they could get away with it, but if makes it easier to find creeps like this then more power to ’em.
What really concerns me about this is that Tumblr is in the process of rolling out instant messaging for its users. Between creeps like this and the young userbase of Tumblr I see this as another avenue that predators can use to approach your kids.
According to the official announcement by Tumblr any user can message any other user by default. Settings can be changed to block any person that you’re not following. So potentially your child can be messaged by anyone on Tumblr. I’m not saying that your child will be approached by every predator on Tumblr however, it is one more avenue that they’ve been given.
The messaging service will be available on both desktop (pcs and laptops) and mobile (phone and tablet) platforms. So all anyone needs to access this service is a device and a wifi connection. If you’re a parent this is one more instant messaging app that you need to be aware of in order to better protect your kids.
Since I’ve started this website I’ve always been fascinated by the excuses that alleged criminals give for their crimes. That fascination grew after the popularity of the To Catch A Predator series when most of the suspects were asked why they were there said they just wanted to hang out.
For example take 25-year-old Krishna Royster, of Bridgeport, Connecticut. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said they found a number of child porn images being posted to Tumblr. Investigators are said to have allegedly traced the images back to Royster’s computer. This is supposedly how Royster explained his actions to police…
When they later confronted him, police said Royster admitted uploading the images to Tumblr but claimed he didn’t have any urges to act on what he saw with children.
“He said he just tried to put outrageous things on Tumblr and the child pornography photos and videos were part of that,” police said Royster told them.
Why didn’t you say so? That makes everything ok. You’re free to leave. It really can be like listening to a 6-year-old trying to explain why the lamp is broken. There is no excusing child porn for whatever reason.
I hate to give any kind of criminal tips on how to commit their crimes but why do so many child porn purveyors post their wares to any kind of social networking or blogging site?
For example take 55-year-old Samuel Silverstein of Glendale, Wisconsin. He was arrested for allegedly posting child porn to the blogging platform Tumblr. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are said to have contacted authorities when the child porn was discovered. At the time of his arrest Silverstein was reported to have told investigators that the child porn he allegedly posted was for his own use. First, ick. Secondly, I seriously doubt that anyone posting child porn to Tumblr wasn’t trying to share it. Lastly, Tumblr is already messed up enough without people feeling the need to post child porn on it.
Everything I post here on WordPress gets posted to my Tumblr account for cross promotional purposes. If someone with their own Tumblr likes something you post they’ll leave a note. A note in the Tumblr equivalent of a Facebook like.
The other day I posted the story about the man from Washington who was raping his 6-year-old step-daughter and offering her up on craigslist. When it crossposted to Tumblr the post immediately got a note. I didn’t think much of it because there’s a decent sized anti-human trafficking community on Tumblr. The note said that so and so’s account liked this. It also provides a link to the user’s Tumblr page. I clicked the link not knowing what to expect and I was greeted with a very vivid animated gif of a woman getting railed with a link that said “click here for the video”.
I’m not opposed to ‘adult entertainment’ per se however everything needs to be in context. I realize it’s probably just some spam bot searching for certain keywords but remember, this was a story about the rape of a 6-year-old girl. What keywords did I use that tripped their script?
The real problem is even though I blocked the account the note still remains on my Tumblr post. I have yet to find a way to remove it without removing valid notes on other posts. If this is happening to me I imagine it’s happening to others as well. What if it’s happening to the blog of a rape survivor or a child that survived being molested? What does that say about Tumblr?
UPDATE 6/22/2015: Tumblr eventually removed the offending note after I had contacted them which is fine however, shouldn’t this be an option for the user without having to contact Tumblr?