Tumblr says child pornography was the reason for its sudden disappearance from the iOS App Store. The app has been missing in the store since November 16, but so far the cause of the absence was unclear. In the beginning, Tumblr simply said it was “solving the problem with the iOS app.” However, after Download.com approached Tumblr with sources claiming the cause was related to the detection of child pornography on the service, the Yahoo-owned social media network issued a new statement confirming the case.
In its updated statement, Tumblr said that while each image uploaded to the platform is “scanned against an industry database of sexual abuse for children” to filter clear images, a routine review, discovery of content missing from the database, so that could slide through the filter. Although Tumblr says that the content was immediately removed, the app continues to be unavailable in the App Store. It is still available in the Google Play Store for Android users.
Tumblr has been noted to have a permitted attitude to NSFW and adult-oriented content at its service, which previously caused it to be temporarily banned in Indonesia. Child pornography, however, is a completely different matter. Apple’s iOS guidelines clearly state that all apps must have a content filter to sharpen such material, and it appears that Tumblr’s existing systems were not up to this standard. Although the company has said to have its app reinstated, it is the “top priority”, it could not provide a clear timeframe for its return.