Apple axed Tumblr from App Store because of failed child pornography filters

Posted:
in iPhone
Tumblr's sudden disappearance from the iOS App Store on Friday -- still unresolved -- was because material slipped through the blogging network's child pornography filters, according to the company.

Tumblr on iPhone


"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," it said in a support update. "A routine audit discovered content on our platform that had not yet been included in the industry database. We immediately removed this content."

Work continues on returning Tumblr to the App Store, the company said, without saying what changes are being made or an expected timeframe. For reasons unknown the app remains available on Google Play for Android devices.

Apple has adopted a zero-tolerance policy, choosing to pull any app with accessible child pornography even when it may be hard to find and developers are continuously trying to root it out. Another example is in February, when the popular messaging app Telegram was pulled. Apple worked with Telegram to get the illegal content taken down, ban the offending users, and institute controls.

That process took about a day however, raising questions about the obstacles Tumblr is encountering.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    well, they should definitely pull the google app then. and safari. oh, and Firefox and definitely Edge. If you're gonna take it upon yourself to "police" the app store, then be consistent all around.
    edited November 2018 jbdragonviclauyycpakitt
  • Reply 2 of 21
    well, they should definitely pull the google app then. and safari. oh, and Firefox and definitely Edge. If you're gonna take it upon yourself to "police" the app store, then be consistent all around.
    So, you are against Apple doing this to this app?  So, you support Google because Google left the app in the Play Store?

    As for those browser...the user has to SEARCH or enter in address of porn.

    Tumblr is different.  
    racerhomie3ronnequality72521StrangeDaysmwhitepatchythepirateRayz2016macseekerDeelronwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 21
    well, they should definitely pull the google app then. and safari. oh, and Firefox and definitely Edge. If you're gonna take it upon yourself to "police" the app store, then be consistent all around.
    Nah, they won't. They have to parallel sets of rules that get applied depending on whose app it is. Apple never claimed they would be fair in what rules they are gonna enforce and when. I wonder, if it is going to scare away a good portion of the developers, as it is becoming too much of a risk to be developing for iKing.
    jbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 21
    well, they should definitely pull the google app then. and safari. oh, and Firefox and definitely Edge. If you're gonna take it upon yourself to "police" the app store, then be consistent all around.

    I figured the moronic comments would come. Safari is a web browser. It doesn’t host any content. Using your logic we should ban the iPhone because someone could use it to take pictures of child porn. Stupid.
    racerhomie3ronnequality72521StrangeDaysmwhiteboltsfan17macseekerDeelronwlymNotsofast
  • Reply 5 of 21
    "...it is becoming too much of a risk to be developing for iKing."
    Nah, mate. Any developer creating a platform that can share photos is well aware of the risks. Tumblr is well aware, and they put all images through a filter.

    The risk to Apple of allowing your unfiltered app to serve up child porn is greater as they would be seen to not be interested (much like Google in this case).

    Apple did the right thing here. Tumblr did the right thing here.
    cescoronnequality72521StrangeDaysmwhiteDeelroncommand_fwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 21
    Shame on Google. Shame. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 21
    Stop the hypocrisy Apple. Safari has to go. 
    jbdragon
  • Reply 8 of 21
    What was the age rating on the Tumblr app? That may be relevant.

    Also - by the same metric apps like Periscope are still up because they have a 17+ rating?
  • Reply 9 of 21
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,034member
    Apple should just ban any social Media app or anything having pictures. Really any app that people can do things in that other people can see. Because things may get posted that Apple doesn't like!!! It's not like Tumblr is not doing anything. It's just that millions of people use their app and so trying to police all of it, you're going to miss things. FILTERS can only filter so much, or they end up filtering everything. Apple for whatever reason seems to want to ban them for whatever reason. What they're saying isn't it. Otherwise they would be banning Instagram, and Facebook, and Twitter, and a long list of other apps where you can find this stuff or run into this stuff. So something else must be going on.
  • Reply 10 of 21
    jbdragon said:
    Apple should just ban any social Media app or anything having pictures. Really any app that people can do things in that other people can see. Because things may get posted that Apple doesn't like!!! It's not like Tumblr is not doing anything. It's just that millions of people use their app and so trying to police all of it, you're going to miss things. FILTERS can only filter so much, or they end up filtering everything. Apple for whatever reason seems to want to ban them for whatever reason. What they're saying isn't it. Otherwise they would be banning Instagram, and Facebook, and Twitter, and a long list of other apps where you can find this stuff or run into this stuff. So something else must be going on.
    Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are hosting child porn?!?
  • Reply 11 of 21
    toysandme said:
    Stop the hypocrisy Apple. Safari has to go. 
    Only you've ignorant to how technology works. Safari doesn't host nor publish pictures, it's a "browser". Tumblr hosts their content and publishes it to user streams. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 21
    jbdragon said:
    Apple should just ban any social Media app or anything having pictures. Really any app that people can do things in that other people can see. Because things may get posted that Apple doesn't like!!! It's not like Tumblr is not doing anything. It's just that millions of people use their app and so trying to police all of it, you're going to miss things. FILTERS can only filter so much, or they end up filtering everything. Apple for whatever reason seems to want to ban them for whatever reason. What they're saying isn't it. Otherwise they would be banning Instagram, and Facebook, and Twitter, and a long list of other apps where you can find this stuff or run into this stuff. So something else must be going on.
    That *Apple* doesn’t like? How is attempting to protect children suddenly an excuse to bash Apple? I’d have thought, or hoped, a very large percentage wouldn’t like this turn of events and were hoping for a speedy resolution favourable to Apple, Tumblr and, above all, children. 
    Madtigerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 21
    well, they should definitely pull the google app then. and safari. oh, and Firefox and definitely Edge. If you're gonna take it upon yourself to "police" the app store, then be consistent all around.
    Nah, they won't. They have to parallel sets of rules that get applied depending on whose app it is. Apple never claimed they would be fair in what rules they are gonna enforce and when. I wonder, if it is going to scare away a good portion of the developers, as it is becoming too much of a risk to be developing for iKing.
    I get it...some of you guys are Android fanboys...and i get it regarding always crapping on Apple.  But damn, you guys make some dumbass arguments!  OMG!   PLEASE stop...you guys are making a fool of yourself!  Oh wait, maybe you should continue to do that!  LOL

    Scare developers?  Don’t worry about that, the best apps and the best games ALWAYS come to iOS first or exclusively.  iOS is the PREFERRED OS for developers.  You guys don’t need to worry about us.  Thanks though.

    You Android fanboys need to worry about your Play Store, which consists of malware-infested fake apps and 2nd rate apps. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 21
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    well, they should definitely pull the google app then. and safari. oh, and Firefox and definitely Edge. If you're gonna take it upon yourself to "police" the app store, then be consistent all around.

    I figured the moronic comments would come. Safari is a web browser. It doesn’t host any content. Using your logic we should ban the iPhone because someone could use it to take pictures of child porn. Stupid.

    Yes, but did you think the comments would be THAT moronic?

    Some people here are on the verge of saying 'free speech is more important than preventing the spread of kiddie porn'.
    edited November 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 21
    jbdragon said:
    Apple should just ban any social Media app or anything having pictures. Really any app that people can do things in that other people can see. Because things may get posted that Apple doesn't like!!! It's not like Tumblr is not doing anything. It's just that millions of people use their app and so trying to police all of it, you're going to miss things. FILTERS can only filter so much, or they end up filtering everything. Apple for whatever reason seems to want to ban them for whatever reason. What they're saying isn't it. Otherwise they would be banning Instagram, and Facebook, and Twitter, and a long list of other apps where you can find this stuff or run into this stuff. So something else must be going on.
    Here’s the thing...Tumblr developer ADMIT the fault and ACCEPT the ban while they fix their stuff.  They are NOT criticizing Apple’s decision.  Why do you care so much?  

    Maybe you should go back to Android side and criticize Google for not doing the same because CLEARLY, Tumblr developer is at (and admit to) fault!

    But, go on, and fight against the “man” while we laugh at your sorry arse.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 21
    jbdragon said:
    Apple should just ban any social Media app or anything having pictures. Really any app that people can do things in that other people can see. Because things may get posted that Apple doesn't like!!! It's not like Tumblr is not doing anything. It's just that millions of people use their app and so trying to police all of it, you're going to miss things. FILTERS can only filter so much, or they end up filtering everything. Apple for whatever reason seems to want to ban them for whatever reason. What they're saying isn't it. Otherwise they would be banning Instagram, and Facebook, and Twitter, and a long list of other apps where you can find this stuff or run into this stuff. So something else must be going on.
    Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are hosting child porn?!?
    No but Facebook has taken it's time in removing an underage girl's suicide video as well as a Marine veteran's.. 

    "Facebook initially told his loved ones that the gruesome pictures of deep puncture wounds on his legs captioned with heartbreaking goodbye messages did not violate their community standards". This was the case for both of these unfortunate people.  It took public outcry and serious social media prodding for FB to finally remove these videos days later. 

    I am not comparing the two situations saying on is right or wrong,  and I DO NOT take child porn lightly.. just making a point. These pictures were a reason to remove an app, but recorded suicide isn't? I think if Tumblr were on the same worldwide level as FB an exception would have been made..which is sad if you think about it.

    I agree with jbdragon...something else may be going on that we don't know about that has made Apple say enough is enough.
  • Reply 18 of 21
    darkpaw said:
    <Snip>
    Apple did the right thing here. Tumblr did the right thing here.
    I agree. There are often shades of grey around "unacceptable" content and it's not ideal for Apple to be the one doing the policing but this case is clear: there's nothing grey about the unacceptability of this type of content. Apple's action is positive: it has not only caused the removal of the material, it has publicised the whole issue and contributed to the debate about how best to police it. It also seems that Tumblr is trying hard to get it right.

    For many reasons, I hope Apple doesn't have to do this again.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 21
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,719member
    well, they should definitely pull the google app then. and safari. oh, and Firefox and definitely Edge. If you're gonna take it upon yourself to "police" the app store, then be consistent all around.
    Well this is the problem, going after apps solves nothing!   What Apple should demand is that these apps and even Apple itself work with law enfircement to go after these whackos.   By filtering and using other techniques that do nothing to pull these creeps off the street, Apples as much a problem as the perverts creating this garbage.  
  • Reply 20 of 21
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,719member
    jbdragon said:
    Apple should just ban any social Media app or anything having pictures. Really any app that people can do things in that other people can see. Because things may get posted that Apple doesn't like!!! It's not like Tumblr is not doing anything. It's just that millions of people use their app and so trying to police all of it, you're going to miss things. FILTERS can only filter so much, or they end up filtering everything. Apple for whatever reason seems to want to ban them for whatever reason. What they're saying isn't it. Otherwise they would be banning Instagram, and Facebook, and Twitter, and a long list of other apps where you can find this stuff or run into this stuff. So something else must be going on.
    That *Apple* doesn’t like? How is attempting to protect children suddenly an excuse to bash Apple? I’d have thought, or hoped, a very large percentage wouldn’t like this turn of events and were hoping for a speedy resolution favourable to Apple, Tumblr and, above all, children. 
    We all want to protect children but moves like this makes things worse not better!   Apple needs to work with law enforcement to arrest these people and give them a very speedy trial.  The same thing goes for Tumbler or any other app.  Filtering is pretty much a useless after the fact bandaid.  
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