Tumblr pulled from Apple’s App Store over child pornography content

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Social network and microblogging site Tumblr was pulled from Apple’s App Store last week because of images depicting child sex abuse, it has emerged.

Tumblr initially said it was “working to resolve the issue with the iOS app” when it mysteriously disappeared on November 16.

Download.com learned that Tumblr was removed from the store due to child pornography getting past the site’s filters, prompting the site to provide more details about its disappearance.

Tumblr, owned by Yahoo-parent company Oath, scans content posted onto the platform against an industry database of known abuse material, which prevents images from being uploaded. However, the company revealed that it had discovered some content that had not yet been included in the industry database.

It has since removed the content.

“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,” Tumblr said in a statement.

“As this is an industry-wide problem, we work collaboratively with our industry peers and partners like NCMEC [National Centre 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.”

Tumblr, which hosts more than 447 million blogs, is still accessible to anyone who already has the app downloaded, and is still available on the Android Play Store.

Chris Price