Tumblr Returns To The App Store After Blanket Ban On Adult Content

Tumblr Returns To The App Store

Image Source: iTunes App Store (screenshot)

Several weeks after being pulled down by Apple, Tumblr returns to the App Store but with little adult content. Yes, you can once again download the Tumblr app from the App Store. It staged the comeback just days after announcing that it would remove all the sexually explicit content from its platform. It came as a big shock to users because Tumblr was the go-to social hub for adult content for millions of its users.

Tumblr returns sans porn

The app was taken down unexpectedly without any explanation from Apple or Tumblr last month. Experts and insiders later revealed that it was removed due to the presence of child pornography on the platform. Tumblr said later that it found those materials during a routine check. The company already had filters in place, but the child pornographic photos slipped through its filters because they hadn’t been added to the database of known child sexual abuse material.

As Tumblr returns to the App Store, the app changelog for version 12.2 says, “This particular update also includes changes to Tumblr’s Community Guidelines, which prohibit certain kinds of content from being shown on Tumblr.”

The app now has a 17+ rating, meaning it could still have adult content or offensive language unsuitable for people below 17 years of age. The company has introduced a blanket ban on adult content, which goes into effect on December 17th.

It would be interesting to see how Tumblr without porn would fare among users, most of whom were loyal to the platform because of the explicit photos, videos, GIFs, texts, and other content. Only time will tell how it would treat photos and videos in the context of breastfeeding or nude art.

Tumblr has already started using AI algorithms to remove explicit content and clean up the platform. Unfortunately, its algorithms are so basic that they can’t differentiate between photos of Jesus and pornographic pictures. Even Tumblr’s own announcement was marked as explicit by its algorithms. Images of children, dogs, and food were also flagged by its system.

Tumblr returns, but users leave

Tumblr is purging NSFW blogs, and the SFW blogs have suffered collateral damage. So, thousands of users, including popular blogs, have started moving to other platforms. Websites such as Newgrounds, Pillowfort, Ghost, Mastodon, Sharesome, and even Pornhub have been pitching themselves as the most suitable Tumblr alternatives.

Pornhub has told creators that they could also earn ad revenues and sell content to generate revenues on its platform. Of course, none of these platforms is as refined as Tumblr, but given what’s happening with Tumblr, a large number of people are prepared to leave it for good. If you are one of them, here’s how you can export your data before moving to another platform.

Tumblr is not the only app that has suffered in recent months. Free media streaming app Showbox was also down for several weeks before coming back earlier this month. At one point, users thought Showbox had been shut down just like Moviebox. But developers later clarified that they had run into legal troubles; as a result their services were declined.

For the uninitiated, Showbox is not directly available on the Google Play Store. Users have to download it via third-party websites to install it on their devices. It offers free streaming of TV shows, movies, and other content it doesn’t have rights to. It’s borderline illegal. So, Hollywood production houses have been after Showbox developers as well as distributor website. They have even threatened Showbox users of legal consequences if they continue to use the app.



About the Author

Vikas Shukla
Although he has a background in finance and holds an MBA, Vikas Shukla is a technology reporter. He has a strong interest in gadgets, gizmos, and science. He writes regularly on these topics. - He can be contacted by email at vshukla@valuewalk.com