This week, the blogging platform Tumblr began censoring content on its site. Studies of the site’s usage revealed that Tumblr had become a haven for some of the darkest and most perverted sexual content imaginable.
Tumblr’s move signals the continued disintegration of the tech industry’s utopian dreams for social media. The titans of technology—Facebook, Apple, Twitter, Google, and others—believed their innovations would usher us into a harmonious future by exposing us to a broad diversity of views and forms of expression. But instead, the devices and media which fill our lives often accelerate our worst impulses. Nearly every platform censors its content now. And it should tell us something when the executives who develop these products and services won’t let their own children use them.
Now there’s nothing inherently wrong with Tumblr or Facebook or Twitter. But their creators clearly did not factor human sinfulness into their original designs. It should not have been a big surprise that a platform like Tumblr, which allowed people to post and search out anything they wanted, would generate all kinds of evil. Welcome to reality, Tumblr.
God, we ask that you would instill within each of us a self-awareness and self-control to use social media for good and not evil. Empower us by your Spirit to use our technologies for growth in godliness, not as an avenue for sin. Protect us and our children from harmful content which dishonors you.
Dr. Robert Jeffress is a best-selling author of 25 books, a nationally and internationally syndicated TV and radio host and the senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas, one of the largest and most influential churches in America. Pathway to Victory, Dr. Jeffress’ broadcast ministry, airs daily nationwide on more than 900 radio stations and is broadcast live to 195 countries. His latest book, Choosing the Extraordinary Life: God’s 7 Secrets for Success and Significance, is available in bookstores everywhere. He is an evangelical adviser to the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.