Tumblr Removed From App Store Over Failure to Filter Out Child Pornography

Apple removed Tumblr from the iOS App Store late last week because the Yahoo-owned social network failed to filter prohibited content, it emerged today.

The Tumblr app for iPhone and iPad went missing from the App Store on Friday, November 16. Shortly afterwards, Tumblr announced that it was “working to resolve an issue” with the app, but stopped short of explaining the problem.


It wasn’t until Download.com approached Tumblr with sources claiming child pornography had been found on the service, that the social network issued a statement providing more information.

In its statement, Tumblr said that every image uploaded to the service is “scanned against an industry database of known child sexual abuse material,” and images that are detected never reach the platform. However, a “routine audit” had revealed content that had not yet been included in the industry database, and Tumblr had acted “immediately” to remove it.

“Content safeguards are a challenging aspect of operating scaled platforms,” it added. “We’re continuously assessing further steps we can take to improve and there is no higher priority for our team.”

This isn’t the first time a popular app has been removed from the App Store for prohibited content. In February, Apple pulled encrypted messenger app Telegram from its store for violating Apple’s iOS developer guidelines, which require all apps that host user-generated content include a method for filtering objectionable material from being posted.

When Telegram fell foul of Apple’s guidelines, the app was back on the App Store within 24 hours. Tumblr said getting its app reinstated is its “top priority,” yet it continues to be unavailable for iOS devices, although Android users can still download Tumblr via the Google Play Store.

(Via The Verge.)


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