Tumblr booted from iOS App Store over explicit content

Alonzo Simpson
November 21, 2018

Tumblr has mysteriously vanished from Apple's App Store, and it's not clear why.

As 9to5 Mac noted, the issue may have something to do with inappropriate content that violated Apple's guidelines, which has led Apple to pull apps before. However, no official statement about this has been released by Apple or WhatsApp as yet. We're still working on the issue with the iOS app.

Per Apple's App Store Review Guidelines, objectionable content includes content that's "offensive, insensitive, upsetting, meant to disgust, or in exceptionally poor taste". I already have the app on my phone, and didn't notice a disruption over the weekend, and any user who'd already downloaded the app may find it in the "Purchased" section of the App Store's settings. Tumblr is reportedly working to get itself back into the App Store, although we'd certainly hope it will introduce some more advanced filtering tools before this is done.

However, Download.com learned what really happened-proving the speculations were right.

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"We're committed to helping build a safe online environment for all users, and we have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to media featuring child sexual exploitation and abuse", a company spokesperson told CNET.

Every image uploaded to the site is run against a database of known child sexual abuse material and, if there is a match, the images are removed even before they make it onto the site. "A routine audit discovered content on our platform that had not yet been included in the industry database", it explained. Tumblr, sadly, has become notorious exactly for that type of content that would immediately get you banned on Facebook and Twitter.

Tumblr partners with organizations including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to compare uploaded material to databases of unacceptable and illegal content.

According to the website, the iOS store removed the app due to child pornography. "We're continuously assessing further steps we can take to improve and there is no higher priority for our team".

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