Tumblr avoids porn label and adds mature rating to iOS app

After Apple pulled the 500px photo app from iTunes over a porn controversy, it seems Tumblr is doing what it can to avoid the same fate by adding a 17+ age warning to its iPhone and iPad app.

Tumblr's iPhone app. Tumblr

Tumblr looks to be trying to avoid the porn-war that recently harangued the 500px photo app and Twitter's Vine app.

The microblogging company threw up a 17-and-over age warning for its iOS app for all new users and any people updating their app to the 3.2.4 version, which was released today.

"You must be at least 17 years old to download this app," Tumblr writes in its description of the app in the iTunes App Store, because it contains "Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity."

The app's upgrade says only that it will carry out "small bug fixes." However, when users click on the 3.2.4 version, they're forced to confirm they are over the age of 17. "Tumblr contains age-restricted material," the app says when upgrading. "Tap OK to confirm that you are 17 or over. Your content will then begin downloading immediately."

It's unclear exactly why Tumblr changed its app to contain a mature rating. But it's no secret that certain blogs on the site contain "sexual content" and "nudity." In an interview last June , Tumblr founder David Karp noted that 2 percent to 4 percent of the traffic on Tumblr is porn-related.

Tumblr's 17+ rating comes as 500px and Vine have been scrutinized for making porn easily accessible. When Twitter released the Vine app last week, many users quickly found a handful of videos featuring male exhibitionism and other activity. Apple quickly stopped promoting Vine in its App Store.

500px had an even more severe reprimand. After complaints of the app containing pornographic images and material, Apple pulled it from iTunes. Now that 500px has added warnings and a 17+ rating, Apple allowed it back into the App Store.

Maybe Tumblr is acting preemptively with its new 17+ rating. CNET contacted Tumblr for comment. We'll update the story when we get more information.

 

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