The disappearance of Tumblr from Apple’s App Store made it to news headlines throughout the world a few days ago. The official reason behind the removal was not revealed by these companies but Tumblr today has released a statement which seems to point out the cause.
Here is the statement in full:
We’re committed to helping build a safe online environment for all users, and we have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to media featuring child sexual exploitation and abuse.
As this is an industry-wide problem, we work collaboratively with our industry peers and partners like NCMEC (National Cetner for Missing and Exploited Children) 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.
As you might be able to notice from the statement, it seems that the reason why the app was pulled out from Apple App Store is likely due to child pornography. Prior to the release of this statement though, CNET’s Download.com already managed to find out the reason through independent sources.
Even though Tumblr might have removed the offending content, it is still not yet known until when the app will continue to be missing from the App Store. Of course, Tumblr is still pretty much accessible through its website.