Tumblr has banned all the “mature” content and phrases from its iOS app. Now any blog that gets flagged as mature will be inaccessible to its users and they will instead see a pop up that explains the content has been hidden due to “potentially suggestive or explicit content”.
Not just that, the app will now hide such posts in their search function and on the dashboards of its users that usually shows recommendations.
Tumblr explained in a blog post that they had taken this step in order to remain in the app store of Apple – they had to make changes that are compliant with Apple’s “sensitive content” policies.
Some of the tags that Tumblr had to ban to comply with Apple’s policies had been crowdsourced by its users. This list includes terms that make sense – like “porn”, “drugs” and “sex” – and terms that make no sense and are completely incomprehensible – like “Eugene Levy” and “Tony the Tiger.” Tags that include numbers like 69 or 420 are also banned.
What has made it worse for the users is the fact that many of them use the site for anonymously talking about their personal experiences, but this latest tag ban now censors such conversations effectively. For example stimming related tags – a coping mechanism for autistic people – along with tags such as “PTSD”, “depression” and “bipolar” has been banned.
The struggle that Tumblr faces with iOS approval has been stretching on for years. A particularly inciting incident happened in 2018 when Tumblr app had been taken off Apple’s App Store when some child sexual abuse material had passed through Tumblr’s filtering technology.
That being said, Tumblr is working out pretty well due to the way its algorithm works – or doesn’t. Unlike popular platforms like Twitter, TikTok or Instagram, Tumblr works in an old-fashioned way – by displaying the content from users you’re following on your feed in chronologically reverse order – a feature loved by its users for crafting their experiences exactly how they want.