Apple 'applauded' for removing Tumblr over child abuse images

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

An anti-abuse campaigner has “applauded” Apple for removing the social blogging app Tumblr from its App Store after child abuse images were being shared on the site.

Apple made a decision to remove the social network app on November 16 because it let some users post illegal images of child sexual abuse.

In a statement Tumblr said the images through because its filters did not pick them up.

“Every image uploaded to Tumblr is scanned against an industry database of known child sexual abuse material, and images that are detected never reach the platform,” read the statement.

“A routine audit discovered content on our platform that had not yet been included in the industry database. We immediately removed this content. Content safeguards are a challenging aspect of operating scaled platforms. We’re continuously assessing further steps we can take to improve and there is no higher priority for our team.”



Joining Julia Hartley-Brewer on talkRADIO, Marilyn Hawes, the CEO of Freedom From Abuse congratulated Apple for taking action against the app.

“I actually congratulate Apple because they must be one of the first tech giants to take what is an appropriate, proactive stance,” she said.

“I’m not a political animal - I’ve got no time for politics - but I do agree with the Home Secretary where they’ve got to be held more accountable.

“You’re watching a crime, these are crimes things that are being put out there, we never talk about the COPINE scale as to what category are these child abuse images.

The COPINE scale was introduced in the late 1990s to categorise child abuse images for use in both research and law enforcement.


‘Watch a child’s mental health nosedive’

Hawes has urged parents not to turn a blind eye to some of the dangers that social media networks pose to their children, especially when it comes to their mental health.

 “Well, it [abuse images] does exist and they should stop closing their eyes, it’s a massive problem,” she said.

“No one is saying don’t play on the games, but I do applaud Apple for doing this and making a very responsible response to it rather than a reaction.

“Once a child knows their picture is out there, you watch their mental health nosedive and very quickly there is self-harming. So much mental health goes to adverse experiences in childhood as does knowing your photo is out there, and it’s out there forever.”

 “They’ve seemed to have lost track at what a stranger is, you wouldn’t want someone following you on the street, so don’t let someone you don’t follow you online and don’t follow someone you don’t know, it is common sense.”