S. Korea Considers Blocking Tumblr Over Sexually Explicit Images

S. Korea Considers Blocking Tumblr Over Sexually Explicit Images

SEOUL — South Korea’s communications authority is weighing whether to block access to Tumblr if the social media platform doesn’t rein in sexually explicit content.

On Monday, Tumblr rejected the Korea Communications Standards Commission’s request to put a crimp on pornographic images, claiming the New York company without a physical presence in the country, is regulated only by U.S. law.

As a result, the regulator is considering blocking Tumblr in South Korea “if the problem becomes serious.”

“About 10 percent of its content is pornographic,” Heo Wook, vice chairman of the Korea Communications Standards Commission, told the Korea Times. “It is also an important matter for Tumblr’s brand image. We will ask the company again to resolve the issue.”

The Korea Communications Standards Commission said it sent Tumblr more than 22,000 requests from January to June to delete posts that were linked to “illegal content.” It accounted for 74 percent of all its requests. During the same period Twitter received 1,771, Instagram 12 and Facebook 5.

Tumblr users are not required to reveal their real names to log in, but only an email address. This trait has made it especially popular for those who want to present different personalities through different blogs — both as content creators and consumers.

The feature, however, has also made it easy to share “illegal content” behind a veil of anonymity, the Korea Times said.