29 tags Tumblr banned from its mobile app (and 10 it didn’t)

#gay, #lesbian, and #depression are just a few of the head-scratchers here.


Aja Romano


Published Jul 18, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 11:07 am CDT

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.

Featured Video Hide

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.

Advertisement Hide

New content restrictions enrage Tumblr users

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.

Advertisement Hide

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.

1) sex

2) porn

Advertisement Hide

3) gay

4) lesbian

5) bisexual

6) transsexual

7) twinks

Advertisement Hide


9) breasts

10 & 11) penis, vagina, and various synonyms thereof

12) bitch

13) MILF

Advertisement Hide

14) facial

15) yaoi 

16) hentai (similar tags like guro and yiff are not banned)

17) panties 

18) suicide

Advertisement Hide

19) butts

20) BBW

21) Topless Tuesday

22) threesome

23) jailbait

Advertisement Hide

24) fetish

25) depression

26) cutting

27) ana (anorexic) 

28) blood

Advertisement Hide

29) lolita

Here are some that are OK:

1) necrophilia

2) boys love

3) guro

Advertisement Hide

4) yiff (and furry-yiff)

5) kink

6) tentacles

7) squicking

8) asshole (though it looks like the mobile app does filter some porn)

Advertisement Hide

9) douche

10) self-harm

Illustration by Fernando Alfonso III

Share this article
*First Published: Jul 18, 2013, 1:09 pm CDT