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#gay, #lesbian, and #depression are just a few of the head-scratchers here.
In the wake of Tumblr’s censorship of various NSFW-friendly tags from its mobile app, we decided to take a closer look at the types of banned content to see if we could trace patterns.
Unfortunately for Tumblr’s mobile users, there seems to be inconsistency with regard to what tags are banned and why. For instance, the widely used fandom tag #yaoi is banned, but its counterpart, #boyslove, is not. Meanwhile, tags with general meanings like #facial and #amateur are banned, but #necrophilia and #kinky are not banned.
Tumblr user gahayi reported that she was seeing banned tags redirecting to “safe” tags:
I just tried searching for “#gay.” It changed automatically to “#lgbtq.” I tried searching again, and again it changed. The same thing happened to “#bisexual,” “#lesbian,” and “#QUILTBAG.”
And some tags seem to be banned inexplicably, like “depression,” “blood,” and other terms related to mental illness and self-harm.
Screengrab via Tumblr
To give you an idea of what’s now missing from your mobile dash, here’s a list of tags that are currently censored on Tumblr’s mobile platform. Click through for what they look like (warning: NSFW!) on the Web.
21) Topless Tuesday
27) ana (anorexic)
Here are some that are OK:
2) boys love
8) asshole (though it looks like the mobile app does filter some porn)
Illustration by Fernando Alfonso III
Aja Romano is a geek culture reporter and fandom expert. Their reporting at the Daily Dot covered everything from Harry Potter and anime to Tumblr and Gamergate. Romano joined Vox as a staff reporter in 2016.