dorumoru · 14 hours ago
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zara2148 · 4 months ago
Tumblr users have the same energy as Gotham citizens who refuse to move away after the fifth supervillain attack in a week.
At some point, staying becomes a weird badge of pride.
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toonskribblez · 5 months ago
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sreegs · 5 months ago
alright let's talk about Apple and Tumblr's current predicament. If you don't know already, I used to work at Tumblr as an iOS engineer. Though I keep in touch with current staff at Tumblr (what little that are left that I know) I do not have picture of what's going on internally. The banned word list is absolutely perplexing and I can only theorize why tags like 'long post' are banned from appearing on iOS. What I can do is give you a peek into how the Apple App Store review process works, so you have an idea of the hell that Tumblr staff is dealing with right now.
Let me be clear about this from the get-go: I think Apple's censorship policies are wrong and they have no grounds to be policing adult content within apps on the app store. Apple's power to set content policy over apps is absolutely fueled first and foremost by internal policy that goes back to Steve Jobs. After that, they're beholden to payment processors wanting to distance themselves from porn. Finally, there's lawmakers and policy that influence them as well. I think these are the 3 things that shape their policy decisions, in order.
What happens when you submit an App to the App Store?
You compile an app and submit it to the app store, and it proceeds through an automated and manual process to review your app to ensure it meets Apple's standards. Apple's standards are 1) non-malicious, functioning programs, and 2) programs that adhere to the App Store's review guidelines that cannot be asserted in the same way a program can. These guidelines are judged by a human being assigned to your app during the review process. The review process used to be long, sometimes it would take weeks, but in recent years they've got it down to about 24 hours.
Now, there's a laundry list of things in those guidelines, but we're going to focus on adult content because that's the most relevant. If a reviewer runs your app and finds porn, your app is rejected and you're told to correct the problem.
What's Tumblr dealing with now?
In the case of Tumblr, this would be a reviewer going to search, typing in something like 'tits' and finding porn. Sometimes they would search something more innocuous like 'socks' (yeah, i know) and find porn. Sometimes they would search something completely innocent and find porn anyways. Tumblr would get rejected.
This happened regularly. I'd say once every 5 updates (every time Tumblr updates the iOS app, they have to re-submit the app for review). A reviewer would find porn, and respond by sending us the steps they followed to find it and a screenshot of the content. Tumblr staff would remove the porn, resubmit, the reviewer would find nothing, then approve the app. Once in a while Tumblr would get a really persistent reviewer. It would take a handful of porn scrubs and re-submissions before they'd finally green-light an update.
Sometimes, however, Tumblr would get a reviewer who flags tumblr for porn, and when Tumblr opened the rejection notice, the screenshot would be something completely not porn. I'm talking stuff like a woman in a bikini. Not even posing in a porny way. Something you'd see in like, a laser hair removal ad. In these cases, Tumblr would appeal the rejection, saying the content doesn't violate our policies (and to the best of our knowledge, Apple's) so we won't remove it.
In this case, the appeal gets bumped up to a developer support contact that would manage the appeal. Usually when it got there, the contact would look at the report and say "oh, yeah, that's not porn" and tell us to re-submit the app again. It then would usually be approved.
This process, I believe, is where the problem lies. Of course, the bigger picture is Apple's adult content policies, but the relationship between reviewer, developer support, and policymakers is completely fucking discordant. Since the review process is human, some reviewers interpret the guidelines more strict that others. Since the review process chooses a random reviewer, the review experience is random every time.
The developer support contact is not in direct contact with the reviewer and does not communicate with them in any way, other than the report they receive from the review (that Tumblr has too). The dev support contact also cannot tell Tumblr whether they'll pass review if they were to propose hypothetical changes to Tumblr.
Here's the kicker: your developer support contact will also, like the reviewer, not be consistent from case to case. They stick with you until your appeal is complete, but when you have to open a new case for a subsequent rejection, it's someone new. And every one of them had different answers to the same questions about policies regarding adult content.
I really don't think the people enforcing Apple's app store guidelines have a clear answer on what's porn and what's not, and they're left to decide on a case-by case basis. Apple is fucking massive, and it's a waterfall organization where orders come from the top down. If Tumblr gets rejected because a reviewer decided a woman in a bikini is pornographic, no one in Apple gives a shit. I bet no more than a handful of people in Apple right now are even aware of the situation with Tumblr, and just one person (the dev support contact) is deciding what Tumblr must do to resolve it and stay on the App store.
The 2018 porn ban
I was present for the 2018 app store fiasco and boy, it was mind boggling. The removal was legit since Apple had received a user-submitted report of CSAM, and by policy they immediately yank an app that contains such content. That was 100% understandable, and if I were in Apple's shoes, I too would remove an app that has CSAM in it. But what followed was a gauntlet of rigorous reviews over adult content in general. The app was rejected repeatedly until the infamous adult content ban was fully enacted.
While Tumblr was actively working on the ban, they were asking Apple for any sort of guidance on what would meet approval, because as you know it's impossible to scrub a UGC site of adult content. The answers we got were either vague or unhelpful. Tumblr had to just keep re-submitting over and over with a half-baked porn finding algorithm until it finally looked clean enough for Apple.
During this time, we'd be searching Twitter, Instagram, etc, for the same search terms that we were being rejected for, and finding lots and lots of porn. When the rep was asked if other apps went through the same rigamarole that Tumblr was going through, and why they had porn on their apps, the answers we got were "we can't discuss other apps" (of course) and "that shouldn't happen".
Now, I do not want to get conspiratorial about this because I genuinely don't think Apple has it out for Tumblr. What I do think is it's a combination of the discordant enforcement of policy, caused by the complete separation of policymaker, support, and reviewer. It's also less of a problem for other apps like Twitter, Instagram, etc because they have many, many more staff to deal with the problem. They have more staff to build and maintain porn-removing algorithms, and more staff to put out fires caused by App Store rejections.
A little part of me also wants to be cynical and say that since Instagram and Twitter are so big, they can get away with more than Tumblr can. Combine that with Tumblr's history of blatantly allowing porn up until the end of 2018. I can't prove it, of course, but if Tumblr has a reputation at Apple, it can't be a good one.
Apple's reputation amongst developers
As I mentioned I'm an iOS engineer. I talk to other iOS engineers all the time, not only at my current job but also in other places like Slack instances for iOS development. The iOS engineers at Tumblr did not like Apple's bullshit one bit, which is unsurprising. However, my experience thus far is the vast, vast majority of iOS engineers at other places feel the same way. Apple's review process is seen as an asinine hurdle you must clear. Their policies are not viewed in good light amongst iOS devs, though you'll have a mixed bag of sympathy over being rejected for some of them like the adult content one. It really depends if you've worked on any UGC apps on the app store. If you have, you get it.
Outside of adult content, though, the two other big ones that rub iOS devs the wrong way are the 30% cut Apple gets when devs get paid, and the completely arbitrary policy that Apps submitted to the app store must have a "clear purpose". I haven't talked to a single iOS dev who's been on the side of Apple in the Epic v Apple case over the 30% cut, and most of them are hoping for Apple to loosen up their control over the App Store (either voluntarily or by court order). The "clear purpose" policy means that reviewers can reject the app if they think it's useless, which is incredibly discouraging for new developers who are just trying to get out there with something simple. It also squelches creativity and reduces the field for more single-purpose apps.
Aside from App Store review guidelines, iOS developers also have to deal with ever-shifting technical guidelines that can be unclear, with deadlines that change or are vague as well. A good example of this was a recent change that required all Apps that were available on iPad to support split-screen multitasking. Not only did I get conflicting answers on what that means from Apple themselves and devs who were in contact with other Apple reps. No one knew if their iPad app would be yanked from the store, or if there was a way to opt out. This requirement forced many companies to scramble to update their iPad experience to meet this deadline, only for the requirement to be relaxed, and the deadline to be pushed back. Fun times, great use of dev hours.
The Apple fanboy you can picture when I say "Apple fanboy" is very unlikely to be an iOS developer. They probably just love Apple products and think that the company can do no wrong. The more Apple does to piss off their developers, the worse it's going to get for anyone who just wants to use an iPhone.
Anywho, that's Apple for you. Why am I still an iOS developer? I dunno, I got bills to pay. I think I know what Tumblr is working on to appease them. Don't expect this banned word list to last too long. The timing is awful, of course, since everyone on Apple is on vacation, and Tumblr is too. Have fun with the chaos for now. As always, don't take it out on staff. They're doing what they can.
My asks are open if you have any questions. I'll try to answer them.
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k-eke · 28 days ago
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Very happy bears 
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dreamophelia · 5 months ago
I fear we have [redacted]bossed too close to the sun
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fuzzydinosaur · 4 months ago
Picture this, you're stressed out because Covid and climate change finds you out of a job and now you can't pay for dental work so as you listen to the hold music to the dental clinic to cancel your wisdom teeth surgery you log into tumblr to calm your nerves only to be greeted by a Destiel meme informing you that the word flashing is banned and you realise fellow tumblr users can't use a warning for post that could trigger your epilepsy. Imagine this, you're now afraid and there's nothing you can do, no tag to filter out, no warning to save you.
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semi-controlledchaos · 4 months ago
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start studying up
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twentysideddinglehopper · 4 months ago
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selection of iOS banned tags @bannedtags
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r4cs0 · 5 months ago
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adizzyninja · 5 months ago
Steps to turn safari tumblr into a separate app on iOS
Wanted to put together a guide for less phone-savvy people (like me) who want to avoid this batshit tag censoring by using tumblr on safari instead of the app. Less gooooo
1) Open up tumblr.com in safari and click on the little export button at the bottom of the screen
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2) Click the “Add to home screen” button
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3) Click “Add” and you’ll have a new icon on your Home Screen that will open the safari version
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Conveniently, the icon will have the default tumblr logo and even opens fairly seamlessly into what looks like it’s own app (one that you can now tag posts properly with again!)
Hope this helps y’all!
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unlimitedhearts · 5 months ago
In re: Apple Frakking Tumblr Over
OKAY So ever since the Tumblr announcement over Apple's TOS for the app staying on the AppStore, I've been seeing so many posts spreading so much information AND misinformation.
If you haven't seen the post, click here, but basically it boils down to Apple's TOS for what Apps can and can't exist on the AppStore are pretty damn draconian. Famously Discord had to disallow ios app users from entering Not Safe For Work/Mature servers. Discord also put in a work-around to this but I'll get to that. Anyway, those TOS Apple's put in place are now affecting tumblr.
Misinfo #1: Tumblr is deliberately making the app experience unusable - False
Tumblr is doing what Apple is telling them to do. Apple is the one making the iOS version of the app unusable. Not tumblr. Although their enforcement of Apple's wants is rather obnoxious this isn't tumblr's fault. It's Apple's. Direct your ire to Apple, not tumblr, because this is directly their doing.
Misinfo #2: Tags have been ganked. - Well yes, but actually no.
It's true tags are borped on the iOs app BUT!!! "Banned tags" work just fine in the web version of tumblr, or the Android app. All the tags I've seen in the "banned tags" lists going around work just fine on my phone (I have android) or on my laptop. THE TAGS ALSO WORK FINE ON THE BROWSER ON MY IPAD. That's right, easy way to get around iOS shennangannery? Use the Tumblr website. It looks (and runs) just like the app. There are even other features on the website that aren't on the app. So if you're an iOS user frustrated by how the tumblr app now works, log in on Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera, literally any internet web browser, and boom bam. Your original tumblr experience is back. Original bugs and all. Screenshot below of my android phone, and the tumblr website being able to access "banned tags." Also a screenshot of the post from the wip tumblr saying that experiences on Android and the website will not be affected.
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Misinfo #3: Tumblr's doing nothing to combat the ultra-censorship on their iOS app - Maybe
In their post, staff said they're working on a work-around. They left details pretty vague, as is staff's wont, but they aren't exactly out of options. This is where I get back to what Discord did when Apple did the same thing to them. Essentially you would have to go onto Discord on your laptop and allow access to not safe for work servers on iOS. It's a setting only found in the laptop/desktop version of discord. (see screenshot for proof) I believe Tumblr is probably working on something similar. To allow users to have the original experience by going through the website. For now you still have the browsers on your phone. Also screenshotted, where staff said in their post they're working on a workaround.
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All this to say, you guys need to stop freaking out. Yes, tumblr is broken, tumblr's been broken for a hot minute, but you know what? This latest censorship dirge is not tumblr's fault. It's apples. And there are workarounds, pretty piss easy workarounds like using your browser instead of your app. It's not even that much more difficult. I know this is frustrating, but being reactionary and spreading misinformation isn't going to do anything but harm people who are looking for solutions.
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nerviovago · 2 months ago
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funnytwittertweets · 7 months ago
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queenhelenblackthorn · 4 months ago
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nicostiel · 5 months ago
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welcome to super hellsite
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maarigolds · 4 months ago
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The witcher s2 + tumblr's banned words (part 1)
part 2 here
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barren-heart · 4 months ago
Tumblr banning every tag until destiel is the only one left making it the true supernatural website
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scaryboy2409 · 5 months ago
If I used every banned tag at once would apple send someone to my house to kill me
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