Tumblr under probe in South Korea for pornographic content

South Korean authorities threaten to block Tumblr after finding out 10 percent of its content is pornographic.

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Picture for representation. Reuters

The South Korean government has issued a warning to internet company Tumblr Inc to block its microblogging and social networking site in the country if it does not clean up its act. Authorities have discovered that about 10 percent of Tumblr's content is pornographic.

The Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) on Tuesday revealed that New York-based Tumblr has been turning a blind eye to prohibited contents. Authorities say they are now evaluating the said platform and considering banning it if deemed necessary.

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KCSC vice chairman Heo Wook tells the press that about 10 percent of Tumblr's content is pornographic, urging the internet giant to take a look into the matter. Heo adds they do not see the need to block Tumblr at the moment, but he notes they will soon consider it once the problem becomes serious.

"About 10 percent of its content is pornographic. It is also an important matter for Tumblr's brand image," says Heo. "We will ask the company again to resolve the issue."

KCSC reportedly made a request to Tumblr to regulate sexually explicit content on its platform but to no avail as the company rejected the heed. According to Heo, Tumblr has become one of the most popular websites for adult content in South Korea over the past few years, primarily due to its "looseness".

The agency reveals they have sent more than 22,000 requests to Tumblr from January to June 2017 to take down obscene posts or anything linked to the sex trade. In the same timeframe, KCSC issued 1,771 takedown requests to Twitter, 12 to Instagram and 5 to Facebook.

Tumblr does not require names to log in and share contents which, in large part, explains why its re-blogging feature became popular. Hence, it is an easy way to share contents, be it legal or not.