Apple has removed Tumblr from their App Store, over concerns that it failed to filter child pornography from being hosted on its site.
Tumblr has been absent from the App Store from the 16th of November, but the reason why was unclear until Download.com discovered child abuse images had slipped through the micro-blogging site’s filters.
In a statement, Tumblr claimed that the site has a “zero tolerance policy” when it comes to child pornography and sexual exploitation of minors:
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 has previously courted controversy over sexual content. The app notably has a laissez-faire attitude to pornography – this resulted in it being blocked for a day in Indonesia. Last year, a study revealed that just under half of all users see porn when browsing the site; in the same year, a lawyer accused Tumblr of taking three weeks to remove revenge porn of his 17-year-old client.
At the time of writing, the app is still available to Android users on the Google Play store.