Tumblr goes overboard censoring tags on iOS to adjust to Apple’s tips

An replace to Tumblr’s iOS app censors a protracted record of tags to adjust to Apple’s strict security tips. The platform explains that it’s altering iOS customers’ skill to entry delicate content material, affecting their expertise in relation to looking for content material, scrolling via the “Stuff for You” and “Following” sections of the dashboard, and will even stop entry to blogs which might be flagged. Tumblr says it has to “lengthen the definition of what delicate content material is” to “stay out there inside Apple’s App Retailer,” and it appears that evidently Tumblr stretched it fairly far.

Tags are what make posts searchable on Tumblr; posts with censored tags gained’t seem on a customers’ dashboard, nor will they present up on the platform’s search web page. A Twitter thread introduced consideration to among the absurd tags that ended up getting filtered out on iOS, together with the tag “submission.”

The fascinating half, although, is that Tumblr applies that tag routinely when a put up is submitted after which revealed to a weblog on the platform. Customers on iOS who obtain a submission to their weblog gained’t even be capable of view it for the reason that “submission” tag is already added, as proven in a put up by one Tumblr consumer.

One other Tumblr consumer, aptly named “bannedtags,” has been holding monitor of all of the blocked tags in a Google Doc. The consumer notes that the majority of those tags have been banned on iOS —not on all units — and that the listed tags are topic to alter. Some banned tags are blatantly associated to sexual, violent, or dangerous content material, however others don’t appear to belong on the record, and may very well do extra hurt than good by staying on it.

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For instance, “woman,” “unhappy,” and oddly sufficient, “Alec Lightwood,” an actor from the present Shadowhunters, has been banned (as a result of even Tumblr can’t deal with these eyes). “Single dad,” “single mother,” “single mother or father,” “suicide prevention,” and “testicular most cancers” are additionally on the record, doubtlessly harming those that need to search assist in any of those areas.

To make issues even weirder, Tumblr blacklisted some tags that principally operate as unstated social cues on the location. “Me” and “my face” are blocked, each of that are tags that bloggers use to label their selfies (oh, and did I neglect to say that “selfie” is banned, too?). The platform seems to have blocked “queue” as properly, a tag that’s sometimes utilized to posts that have been positioned in a queue and serves as a sign to followers that they is probably not on-line in the meanwhile.

Tumblr began having points with Apple in 2018 when its app was unexpectedly faraway from the App Retailer after youngster pornography was discovered on the platform. Consequently, Tumblr banned grownup content material altogether, a significant shift from the platform’s beforehand laissez-faire insurance policies on NSFW posts. When Tumblr first carried out the change, harmless posts have been ceaselessly flagged for specific content material, and it looks like we’re seeing historical past repeat itself, however otherwise.

Tumblr says it’s engaged on “further options for a much less restricted iOS app expertise,” however there’s no data on when or how this might be carried out. Customers on Android or on the browser-based model of the location stay unaffected by this transformation. It stays unclear why Tumblr banned so many tags or if Apple was concerned in any approach. The Verge reached out to Apple with a request for remark however didn’t instantly hear again.

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