Tumblr was removed from the iOS App Store due to the presence of child pornography on the micro-blogging platform. The app suddenly vanished from the App Store over the weekend. Neither Apple nor Tumblr confirmed what had happened, but Download.com reported that illegal content was the issue.
Illegal Content Got Through Tumblr Filters
As soon as Tumblr disappeared, speculation began that it was due to the presence of inappropriate content that violated App Store rules. It has now emerged that the content that raised concerns was child pornography that had evaded Tumblr’s filters. The issue is likely to have involved collaboration with law enforcement.
A Tumblr spokesperson told Download.com:
“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 [the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children] (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.”
Tumblr initially said that it is working with Apple to resolve the issue. At the time of this writing, the app is still not available in the iOS App Store.