Tumblr 86’s Porn in Purge of Adult Content After Ban by Apple

By Kehl Bayern / December 4, 2018

The Tumblr community received a shock when the company recently announced that it was no longer supporting adult content on its service and would begin purging it from the platform beginning December 17, 2018.

Image via Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels.com.

Tumblr, a would-be competitor to Facebook and Instagram, has changed ownership recently with Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo. That might be part of the reason for the policy change, but another might be the recent banning of the app on Apple’s App Store.

After child porn was discovered on Tumblr, Apple swiftly banned it from its iOS App Store.

In response to the move, Tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio enacted changes to Tumblr's community guidelines and wrote a blog post about the changes. He addressed the new guidelines directly, saying: “Posts that contain adult content will no longer be allowed on Tumblr, and we’ve updated our Community Guidelines to reflect this policy change…Bottom line: There are no shortage of sites on the internet that feature adult content…We will leave it to them and focus our efforts on creating the most welcoming environment possible for our community.”

The service unveiled their new rules and, basically, if the photo or video shows genitalia or depicts a sex act, it will be banned. This means that an automated tool will sift through posts and make them private so that only the owner of the Tumblr account can view them. One concern many photographers had was that the censorship would be a blanket rule and that doesn’t seem to be the case. There is even an appeals process for images unfairly labeled as adult content.

Tumblr isn’t the only app to face scrutiny from Apple’s monitors. When these apps are flagged, concerns seem to stem from unintentional exposure to adult content and how likely that is for a user that downloads the app. As PetaPixel highlights, Tumblr has the highest rate of unintentional exposure to adult content of the many of the media-based social apps out there. User reactions to the announcement are mixed as they typically are with any major change.


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About the author

Kehl Bayern

Kehl Bayern is our staff news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing. In terms of photography, he is interested in architecture and modern design. Kehl Bayern is also the author of science fiction thriller Animus Proxy. He is based in Boston, Massachusetts and studied politics at the University of Virginia and, later, Harvard University for graduate school. He spends much of his time traveling up and down the east coast of the United States. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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