Tumblr blocks tags for 'sensitive content' in order to stay on the App Store

·Associate Editor
·2 min read
Thomas White / Reuters

Tumblr has restricted what its users can see on its iOS app in an effort to make sure it doesn't get kicked out of Apple's App Store again. One of the steps it has taken to comply with Apple's guidelines is to limit the results for certain tags or search terms that Tumblr says "may fall under the expanded definition of sensitive content." The website will even completely block some of them — make that more than some, based on this pretty lengthy list of banned and limited terms collected by Tumblr users that TechCrunch posted. 

While the inclusion of specific words in the list is self explanatory, it also has some curious entries, such as "Eugene Levy" and "Tony the Tiger." The restriction will also make it harder to search for content related to mental health, such as PTSD, depression and anxiety, as well as issues like racism and transphobia. Those searching for a blocked tag will get a screen that says "This content has been hidden" instead of a page with results. They'll see the same notification if they try to access a blog that's been flagged as "explicit" on the app. Users may also see fewer suggestions under the "stuff for you" and "following" sections due to the new restrictions. 

Tumblr has implemented these changes three years after it started completely blocking adult content on its platform. If you'll recall, Tumblr prohibited adult content in 2018 after Apple pulled its app from iTunes in response to finding child exploitation photos on the website. The social network said these changes only apply to its iOS app and that they won't affect anyone browsing Tumblr on the web or on Android. A spokesperson also told TechCrunch that the company is "working on more thoughtful solutions which will be rolled out in the near future."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting