Tumblr kicked out from the App Store due to child pornography
Last Friday, Tumblr disappeared from the App Store. The disappearance came with a brief statement on the help center site that only mentioned the need to take care of "an issue with the iOS app" without any details about the nature of this issue. Now, it's official: the issue was porn. To make it even worse, it was child porn.
Download.com discovered the details of the problem through independent sources and got the following official statement in reply — hang on, it's a rather long one: "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. As this is an industry-wide problem, we work collaboratively with our industry peers and partners like NCMEC to actively monitor content uploaded to the platform. Every image uploaded to Tumblr is scanned against an industry database of known child sexual abuse material, and images that are detected never reach the platform. A routine audit discovered content on our platform that had not yet been included in the industry database. We immediately removed this content. Content safeguards are a challenging aspect of operating scaled platforms. We're continuously assessing further steps we can take to improve and there is no higher priority for our team."
The statement above has also been published in the aforementioned help center page, which can be accessed here. At the time of writing, the most recent update is dated November 19 and simply says that the Tumblr team is continuing to work on bringing the app back to the iOS App Store. However, this is an ongoing task and there is no deadline, so all that Tumblr users can do is wait.
Back in 2017, South Korea asked Tumblr to remove certain hardcore content. In March 2018, Tumblr was briefly blocked in Indonesia due to its failure in removing pornographic content from the service. The good part is that those iOS users who really miss Tumblr these days could just switch to Android, since the app is still available via Google Play. However, perhaps those seeking legal porn should find it at appropriate adult-oriented websites.