StumbleUpon Users… Be Careful What You Stumble

Unlike other social media sites, StumbleUpon started out as a toolbar that would show you random pages based on what tags you had indicated an interest in.

Since people never really know what they are going to see through the toolbar, StumbleUpon uses a helpful preference option that allows you to filter what level content you wish to be shown.

stumble filter StumbleUpon Users... Be Careful What You Stumble picture

This is where many people make one of the biggest mistakes you can make on StumbleUpon, by selecting to see R-Rated or X-Rated content.

StumbleUpon’s Ratings Guide:

  • Suitable for All: No offensive content
  • R-rated: Contains some nudity or graphic violence
  • X-rated: Contains pornography, excessive nudity or a nude “My Photo”

Of course it is easy to see why many, including myself, have made the mistake of selecting to see R-Rated content, since we may not be easily offended and don’t want to miss out on anything that might be cool.

The problem is really not in the fact that you have selected to view adult content, but rather that once you start stumbling adult content, your profile then takes on an R or X rating as well. Once your profile gets an adult rating, only people who have selected to view adult content will be able to view it.

This means that whenever someone who has not selected to include R-Rated or X-Rated content visits your profile page, they see this instead:

r profile StumbleUpon Users... Be Careful What You Stumble picture

When people are unable to see your profile, they are unable to see your discoveries, favorites, or blog posts. They are also much less likely to request to be your friend or accept your friend requests.

Additionally, your profile avatar is also hidden. This means that your avatar is not shown in the two columns of people who have stumble a page or as the discoverer on the tag/review pages.

So basically you become invisible to any user who has not also elected to view adult content.

Already made this mistake and wondering what you can do?

Well here are the steps StumbleUpon suggests you take in order to get your profile back to a non-adult rating and visible to everyone:

To request a change of your blog rating, follow these steps:

  1. Copy and paste this link into your browser:  http://[username]
  2. When your profile appears, scroll down and click “Flag this user”
  3. Use the link there to send a request for recategorization

report su 460x234 StumbleUpon Users... Be Careful What You Stumble picture

Our team will review your request and will take the appropriate decision.

To change to a G rating, unselect any Adult Topics, remove any adult content from your pages and follow the steps listed above to contact Community Support.  Use the “please explain why” field to confirm that you have ensured no adult content remains on your pages.

If your profile’s X-rated, you must revert to R-rated before the option to revert to G is offered.  Please select the option for “show only non-adult favorites to everyone” in your preferences if you do not plan to remove adult content from your profile. Please note that excessive nudity and/or profanity may result in an X rating for your profile.

If your rating remains unchanged after 48 hours, you can reasonably assume that the request has been unsuccessful, and you should revisit your content.

Note the third step in the process requires you send a request to StumbleUpon for recategorization.

Now I am a fan of StumbleUpon, but they have never been ‘quick’ about responding to support requests. It has been over a year since I started the above process to get my profile back to a non-adult rating and still have yet to receive any assistance.

Hopefully some of you will read this before making the same mistake so many of us have already made.


23 Responses to “StumbleUpon Users… Be Careful What You Stumble”

  1. Barbara on July 20th, 2009 5:28 pm

    Great post Brent. I also got a virus from SU 2 weeks ago, luckily Greg was able to get it removed somehow.

  2. Shawn Rosko on July 20th, 2009 5:38 pm

    Killer post, this is very helpful for me especially because I made the same mistake and would love to correct it. I had already removed anything adult related, now I will do the rest of the steps. Thank You!

  3. Foot In Mouth on July 20th, 2009 6:51 pm

    So in other words- don't stumble Pron if you want people to be able to see your profile :P
    if you REALLY REALLY want to stumble inappropriate material then perhaps making a 2nd profile would be a good idea…?

  4. diamondTearz on July 21st, 2009 1:34 am

    Very valid point and Great post. I almost set my level to R as well and barely noticed the "Warning". I think they need to make it more prominent that they're gonna out the Scarlet R on ya if you do that.

  5. Daniel on July 21st, 2009 2:33 am

    1. THANK YOU. I've been wondering about this since I made this mistake years ago.

    2. Do you know if its possible to mass-select X or R rated stuff and delete it? This feature is desperately needed esp when you have thousands of stumbles

  6. brentcsutoras on July 20th, 2009 10:36 pm
  7. SeanWF on July 21st, 2009 5:32 am

    Totally off topic, but I like the Wibiya toolbar at the bottom of your blog. I wish it stood out a little more, as I almost didn't see it there.

  8. Max Pool on July 22nd, 2009 11:54 am

    Not only is this valuable information for SU profiles, but I really think it opens up the can of worms when thinking about how social media profiles are going to be represented/valued differently based on usage. Also not to mention what this means in the future for personal branding and reputation management…

  9. Nick Stamoulis on July 22nd, 2009 2:03 pm

    Associating your business or yourself with accidental porn stamp could be death for your brand.

  10. Jay on July 22nd, 2009 4:11 pm

    Intersting. I've always wondered about that, just never took the time to look into it. Guess I assumed the opposite.

  11. Gerald Weber on July 22nd, 2009 4:15 pm

    OK but if I were put my setting at non adult then I'm still alienating anyone that has selected R Rated content correct? So even this setting seems to still have some limitations.

  12. Gerald Weber on July 22nd, 2009 4:17 pm

    but SU may and probably will ban you for having more than one account. It's against their tos.

  13. Gerald Weber on July 22nd, 2009 4:19 pm

    Agreed. but there is a significant difference between R and X rating. I think most mature adults would have no problem with seeing what is considered R rated content. However, I certainly don't want my brand associated with something X Rated.

  14. brentcsutoras on July 22nd, 2009 4:35 pm

    However, non-adult rated content is what you are set up to see by default. So my guess is, and this is not confirmed, that there is probably a large number of default users, users browsing at work, and users who do not want to view that level content. So as a marketer, who might be interested in being more visible, you should consider the rating of your product and make a good judgment call.

    Great point though.

  15. Gerald Weber on July 23rd, 2009 3:14 am


    Wouldn't changing the setting back to don't show adult content change it back to the default settings? Seems like that would fix the issue for anyone wanting to change back to the default rather than sending support ticket. Or am I just totally missing something?

  16. brentcsutoras on July 23rd, 2009 3:18 am

    If you managed to avoid tagging or stumbling anything that was R-Rated or X-Rated.

    The actual preference is to view the rated content or not, but once you start stumbling that adult content, your profile can take on a independent rating itself. So when you change the settings back to regular, it doesn’t mean your profile rating will go back to regular. You have to put in a request for manual review. No other way around it.

    And as I mentioned, I have had manual review requests in for over a year with no luck… L

  17. lvadgal on July 23rd, 2009 7:20 am

    Thanks for the info. I think that many probably misunderstood that their profile would be affected in searching.


  18. Marcy on July 30th, 2009 5:40 am

    Sounds good but then aren't we allowed just one account?

  19. Rajj on July 30th, 2009 7:14 am

    This tip is quite useful for new users, my question is by mistake i rated one of my stumble as R-rated. Now how can i revert it back to normal ?

  20. brentcsutoras on July 30th, 2009 3:03 pm

    From everything that StumbleUpon has said, it is based on the tags used. You can go back and find the one you rated, then change the tags associated with it or even un-stumble it all together.

  21. simple on September 13th, 2009 5:27 am

    this post is to the point and very helpful

  22. @vitalichka on October 23rd, 2010 5:01 am

    I thought I should add that sometimes, when I add pages, stumbleupon for some reason chooses tags for me. Ones I didn't choose and for some reason porn and the like are chosen, so this should be watched out for as well.

    I noticed for example, when I was going through my profile that one page was tagged as porn, it had one visit which would likely be me, but this was a scientific page from Michio Kaku and this would mean I tagged it as porn and I wouldn't do that. It has no other tags except porn. It seems that SU is messing up in that respect and now my account is marked X-rated when I have nothing xrated and the only item which I've deleted was incorrect and not by me.

  23. @vitalichka on October 23rd, 2010 5:10 am

    By the way, just went to to report my site and ask for the change and when you click on "send report to customer support" it just goes back to the same page w/o any changes or submitting so it seems this feature doesn't even work.

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