The iOS version of the Tumblr app no longer allows you to search for the hashtags #gay, #lesbian, or #bisexual because Apple was threatening to ban the app from the App Store on the grounds that those tags returned porn along with non-porny content.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Apple needs to stop censoring for content. They don’t allow side-loading of apps, the only way to get an app on an iDevice is to go through the App Store, and Apple has declared themselves the arbiters of what you can use on their devices. If you buy an iDevice, you’re locking yourself into something where a single corporation controls what you are and aren’t allowed to see on your phone or tablet.
As I said with the last go around when Apple responded to an internet petition and removed some stupid ex-gay app from the store, decisions about the content of what you put on your device are not ones that a tech company should make. A corporate entity shouldn’t be deciding what’s good and bad for you. Corporate censorship is still censorship.
In this case, it appears that Tumblr’s workaround on the whole thing is to redirect searches for the #gay, #lesbian and #bisexual hashtags to the #lgbtq tag even on the website, which doesn’t really do squat other than create another tag that Apple may decide to censor. Good job Apple. Because of your obsession with censoring for content, you’re making it harder for queer kids to use Tumblr on their phones (away from the prying eyes of parents), when Tumblr is the major social network that age group is using now. It’s now no longer just Apple censoring, it’s Tumblr being forced to censor in order to stay in Apple’s good graces.
What’s next? You can use web browsers to access all the porn on the Internet, is Apple going to start installing filters on their own browser and banning others unless they filter too? After all, apps that allow users to view porn aren’t allowed in the App Store.
This corporate censorship on Apple’s part needs to end.