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Tumblr bans in-app searches of 'gay' and 'lesbian,' but not gay slurs

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The Baltimore Sun
|
July 24, 2013
Issues: 

In the latest move by an Internet company to crack down on the inevitable proliferation of porn, blogging site Tumblr has banned its Apple iOS app users from searching the tags "gay," "lesbian" and "bisexual."

The reason the company gives, according to a post written by CEO David Karp on the site's staff blog, is that those tags "are still frequently returning adult content which our entire app was close to being banned for."

That's a clear finger-point to Apple, which made it clear in 2010that "apps containing pornographic material" or "user generated content that is frequently pornographic" will get booted from their digital marketplace. As far as Tumblr is concerned, keeping users from freely browsing the #gay, #lesbian and #bisexual tags will bring them in line with Apple's rules.

Except Tumblr users still have the option to search such offensive terms as "fag," "faggot" and "bulldyke" despite Apple's ban on apps containing "references or commentary about a religious, cultural or ethnic group that are defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited or likely to expose the targeted group to harm." Other offensive racial and ethnic slurs, which I will not restate here, return the same result pictured in the screenshot above; the three gay slurs I just listed don't.