Tumblr adds responsive content filter to its iOS app

As part of its ongoing efforts to stay on the safe side of the App Store rules, Tumblr is to add sensitive content switches to its iOS application. The setting is on by default, and it keeps posts with sensitive tags out of recommendations, blocks search results with sensitive tags, and hides blogs “of an explicit nature”.

Disabling the toggle will allow users to search for tags that may include posts of a sensitive nature and see recommendations that may include suggestive or sensitive content. Disabling the setting will also allow you to browse an overlay on blogs that have been marked as explicit. However, you will still not be able to view posts marked as explicit.

It’s not entirely clear how Tumblr defines “explicit” in this context (Engadget asked for clarification). Tumblr banned pornography and realistic depictions of human genitals in December 2018 after Apple temporarily removed the app from the App Store.

Tumblr says the sensitive content setting only applies to those using the latest version of the iOS app. For now, users will need to visit their settings on the Tumblr website to turn off the toggle. They will then be able to access sensitive content in the iOS application after quitting and relaunching it.

Last month, Tumblr blocked search terms and recommendations containing potentially sensitive content on the iOS app to comply with App Store rules. The sensitive content toggle should make the platform a bit more open for iOS users, but even less so than on Android or the web.

“These latest updates give our community more control over the iOS app to create the experience that’s best for them and to explore content they find interesting,” Tumblr wrote in a blog post. “While the experience of our community is a top priority, we must also adhere to the guidelines of the Apple App Store and our own guidelines.”

Update 1/11/21 5:33 PM ET: A Tumblr spokesperson told Engadget that It’s important to note that our sensitive content guidelines remain unchanged, but we believe these latest updates will give our community more control. ”

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