Tumblr has banned a long list of tags on iOS to comply with the App Store’s rules on sensitive content, affecting the content users see on their dashboard and search pages. However, some tags, like “girl,” “selfie,” and “sad,” don’t appear to violate any safety policies.
Another Tumblr user, aptly named “bannedtags,” has been keeping track of all the blocked tags in a Google Doc. The user notes that most of these tags have been banned on iOS —not on all devices — and that the listed tags are subject to change. Some banned tags are blatantly related to sexual, violent, or harmful content, but others don’t seem to belong on the list, and may actually do more harm than good by staying on it.
For example, “girl,” “sad,” and oddly enough, “Alec Lightwood,” an actor from the show Shadowhunters, has been banned (because even Tumblr can’t handle those eyes). “Single dad,” “single mom,” “single parent,” “suicide prevention,” and “testicular cancer” are also on the list, potentially harming those who want to seek support in any of these areas.
To make things even weirder, Tumblr blacklisted some tags that basically function as unspoken social cues on the site. “Me” and “my face” are blocked, both of which are tags that bloggers use to label their selfies (oh, and did I forget to mention that “selfie” is banned, too?). The platform appears to have blocked “queue” as well, a tag that’s typically applied to posts that were placed in a queue and serves as a signal to followers that they may not be online at the moment.
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