Tumblr Bans 450 Words To Remain on App Store

The power that Apple wields over its App Store has been demonstrated this week after popular blogging service Tumblr made a startling admission.

Tumblr admitted in a blog post that due to Apple guidelines, it has banned hundreds of words (thought to be as many as 450) so that its iOS app will still comply with Apple’s strict safety guidelines.

Banned terms include words such as ‘girl,’ ‘sad,’ ‘about’, ‘bald’, ‘bearded’, ‘injury’, ‘package’, ‘selfie’, ‘young’ etc.

Banned words

Tumblr revealed the word ban for the updated version of its iOS app.

“For those of you who access Tumblr through our iOS app, we wanted to share that starting today you may see some differences for search terms and recommended content that can contain specific types of sensitive content,” wrote Tumblr.

“In order to comply with Apple’s App Store Guidelines, we are having to adjust, in the near term, what you’re able to access as it relates to potentially sensitive content while using the iOS app,” it wrote.

“To remain available within Apple’s App Store, we are having to extend the definition of what sensitive content is as well as the way you access it in order to comply with their guidelines,” it said.

An extensive list of banned word on Tumblr has been compiled by bannedtags.

It shows that other banned words include ‘addict’, ‘adult’, ‘anorexia’, ‘babe’, ‘bipolar’, ‘daddy’, ‘eating disorder’, Eugene Levy (a Canadian actor who stared in American Pie), ‘girlfriend’, ‘gun’, ‘hitler’, ‘my photos’, ‘racism’, ‘single dad’, ‘spandex’, ‘tickle’, and ‘trigger’.

That said, a lot of banned words are associated with various sexual practices, as well as drug taking and violence.

But some users on social media have pointed to some of the absurd banned tags that ended up getting filtered out on iOS, including the tag “submission.”

Although that word is banned, Tumblr itself applies that tag automatically when a post is submitted and then published to a blog on the platform.

Adult content

‘Single mom’, ‘single parent’, ‘suicide prevention’, and ‘testicular cancer’ are also on the list, and the concern is this ban could hamper those seeking advice or support in these areas.

It should be noted that Tumblr has had issues dealing with porn topics on its platform previously.

In 2013 for example random, unauthorised posts appeared on many people’s blogs that they could not delete.

Many of those posts contained pornographic imagery, and users at the time thought the issue was the result of a hack.

But Tumblr explained a technical glitch was to blame.

Then in 2018 the Tumblr app was unexpectedly removed from the App Store after child pornography was found on the platform.

Tumblr then banned adult content altogether.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

Recent Posts

Google Defamation Ruling Overturned By Australian High Court

Notable intervention in Australian libel laws, after High Court overturns ruling against Google, over hyperlink…

2 hours ago

Apple Orders Staff Back To Office, Three Days A Week

Memo from Tim Cook tells Apple staff in the Bay area, that from next month,…

3 hours ago

Silicon UK In Focus Podcast: Configuring Security

Do businesses need a radical change in how they approach access security? Does a shift…

4 hours ago

New US Export Controls Target China Semiconductor Firms

US introduces export controls on design software and substrate materials to block Chinese companies from…

1 day ago

US Judge Approves Apple Settlement In Retail Class Action Lawsuit

US federal judge approves settlement offered by Apple in nearly decade-old case over compensation for…

1 day ago

Ola Plans Premium Electric Car For Indian Market

SoftBank-backed ride-hailing firm Ola Electric announces range of electric cars starting in 2024 following success…

1 day ago