As part of its ongoing effort to stay on the right side of App Store rules, Tumblr is adding a sensitive content switch to its iOS app. The setting is enabled by default, keeps posts with sensitive tags out of recommendations, blocks search results with sensitive tags and hides blogs that are “explicit in 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. Turning off the setting will also allow you to click an overlay on blogs that have been flagged as explicit. However, I am still unable to view posts that are flagged as obscene.
It’s not entirely clear how Tumblr defines “explicit” in this context (Enadget requested clarification). Tumblr banned pornographic images and realistic images of human genitalia 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 disable the toggle. They will then be able to access sensitive content in the iOS app after they leave it and restart it.
Last month, Tumblr banned search terms and recommendations containing potentially sensitive content on the iOS app to comply with App Store rules. Switching sensitive content should make the platform more open to iOS users, though still less so than Android or the web.
“These recent updates give our community more control over the iOS app to build the experience that works 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 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 have not changed, but we believe these latest updates will put more control in the hands of our community.”
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