Friday saw blogging platform Tumblr suddenly pulled from the App Store with no explanation. Since then, users who post adult-themed content have reported seeing their account being deleted from the platform without warning. The reason for the app removal and the account deletions is reportedly due to the posting of child pornography on the site.
Tumblr’s official help page claims the team is “working to resolve an issue with the iOS app” for several days. That’s all that was posted each day since the app’s removal from the App Store. However, on Monday, the following update was added:
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 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.
The reluctance to share more details is likely due to the company cooperating with law enforcement. (Cnet) Due to the lack of available details, it isn’t know whether the offending content had been on the platform for awhile, or if it was newly posted. It is also unclear if the pulling of the Tumblr app from the App Store was a decision on Tumblr’s part, or due to a decision by Apple.
This is a developing story, we’ll keep you posted.