Tumblr explains why ‘sensitive content’ is being hidden on iOS

Tumblr users who like to watch adult content on the platform will have to avoid the iOS app because the company says it hides “sensitive content” so as not to offend Apple’s sensitivity.

“To remain available in the Apple App Store,” says Tumblr, “we need to expand the definition of what sensitive content is, as well as the way you access it, in order to comply with their guidelines.” It also links to the App Store guidelines, which are available on the Apple Developer website.

Tumblr is new

The company says it will show the above overlay on blogs that have been “marked as explicit” and when “see search or tag results for specific words or phrases.” However, users will have to guess what is being filtered from because Tumblr does not disclose this information “at this time.”

It’s probably not going to be that hard to guess what’s being filtered, but the new definition of “sensitive content” goes further than some might expect. Tumblr says users “may also notice” that:

  • Images received via direct messages from blogs you do not follow can not be seen in the app.
  • Likes and reblogs from explicitly marked blogs are hidden from the notes.
  • Images from reblogs shown in post notes are blurry unless you follow the Tumblr that added the image.
  • Your dashboard (“Following” tab and “Things for you” tab), search results, and tag results no longer display content that contains specific words or phrases.
  • Certain words and phrases have been removed from the typeahead function in search (sometimes referred to as search suggestions).
  • We have excluded blogs that may contain or create sensitive content from search and tag results.

These changes went live with the release of Tumblr version 22.5.1 for the App Store. The company says it will not show this overlay to users of its Android app or mobile site; it simply extends its sensitive content restrictions to comply with Apple’s policies.

“While we do not have an exact timeline for how long these changes will take effect,” Tumblr says, “we are working on additional features that will allow for a less limited iOS app experience.” The company plans to share details as they become available through its Changes blog.


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