Interesting Search Tool: Tumbex

December 13, 2022

Interest in Open Source Intelligence has crossed what I call the Murdoch Wall Street Journal threshold. My MWSJ is that a topic, person, or idea bubbles along for a period of time, in this instance, decades. OSINT was a concept was discussed by a number of people in the 1980s. In fact, one advocate — a former Marine Corps. officer and government professional — organized open source intelligence conferences decades ago. That’s dinobaby history, and I know that few “real news” people remember Robert David Steele or his concepts about open source in general or OSINT in particular. (If you are curious about the history, email the Beyond Search team at benkent2020 @ yahoo dot com. Why? I participated in Mr. Steele’s conferences for many years, and we worked on a number of open source projects for a range of clients until shortly before his death in August 2021.) Yep, history. Sometimes knowing about events can be helpful.

Let’s talk about online information; specifically, an OSINT tool available since 2014 if my memory is working this morning. The tool is called Tumbex. With it, one can search Tumblr content.


Here’s what the Web site says:

Tumbex indexes only tumblr posts which have caption or tags. We analyse the content and define if tumblr or posts are nsfw/adult. If your tumblr was detected as nsfw by mistake, you can request a review and we will manually check your tumblr.

This is interesting. However, with a bit of query testing one can find some quite sporty content on the service.

The service, allegedly became available in 2014, is hosted by the French outfit OVH. According to StatShow, Tumbex has experienced a jump in traffic. The site is not particularly low profile because it has a user base of an estimated one million humans or bots. (Please, keep in mind that click data are often highly suspect regardless of source.) FYI: StatShow can be a useful OSINT resource as well.

If you are interested in some of the OSINT resources my team relies upon, navigate to Click the image and a new window will open with an OSINT resource displayed. No ads, no trackers, no editorial. Just an old fashioned 1994 Web site which can be used fill an idle moment.

Now that the MWSJ threshold has been crossed, OSINT is a thing, an almost-overnight success with some youthful experts emphasizing that the US government has been asleep at the switch. I am not sure that assessment is one I can fully support.

Stephen E Arnold, December 13, 2022


Comments are closed.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta