While UK Prime Minister David Cameron has initiated "the largest-scale attack on Internet pornography to date," Tumblr is already demonstrating some of the problems that come up when you try to filter out porn.
Apparently, as it is now, if you type "gay," "lesbian," or "bisexual" into the Tumblr search on the iOS app nothing comes up — even though there are plenty of non-pornographic posts with those tags on the site.
A blog post by Tumblr's CEO David Karp on Friday claims that Apple and its "prudish app store guidelines" are the real reason these tags are being banned on mobile devices. He suggests users looking for related content to search the keyword #lgbtq instead. Karp said he also recognizes the need for "more intelligent filtering" and promised that the Tubmlr team is "working diligently" on the problem.
The idea that Apple might be the real culprit behind these unnecessary tag censors isn't difficult to believe. In 2011, it was revealed that Siri wouldn't tell users where they could find an abortion clinic, and just last week, The Daily Beast's Michael Keller investigated the fact that iPhones refuse to autocorrect words like "abortion," "rape," and "murder." Still, others posit that the ban has less to do with Apple's guidelines and more to do with Yahoo's recent purchase of Tumblr.
There's already a Change.org petition, if you're interested.
Image: Romain Toornier via Flickr