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#Gay = Porn: Yahoo! blocks gay, lesbian search tags in recently acquired Tumblr

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — According to Yahoo!, #gay apparently equals #porn.

Tumblr, the world’s most popular a microblogging platform is now censoring LGBT-related tags following its recent takeover by Yahoo!.

As of last week, Tumblr is blocking all of its users (and those who follow the site’s tags) from viewing anything tagged as “#gay”, “#lesbian,” “#bisexual,” and 26 other tags that have been deemed “not safe for work” (NSFW) when searching in “safe mode.”

“The reason you see innocent tags like #gay being blocked on certain platforms is that they are still frequently returning adult content which our entire app was close to being banned for,” Tumblr explained. “The solution is more intelligent filtering which our team is working diligently on.”

In other words, Yahoo! believes that the majority of #gay content is pornographic, and must therefore be blocked.

Tumblr added that users can browse #lgbtq — which is now moderated by community editors — but only in mobile apps.

The tag blocking coincides with a new, site-wide crackdown on adult content. Tumblr said Friday that users with “Adult” and “NSFW” blogs would be de-indexed from both internal and external search – making an estimated 12.5 million blogs invisible to search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo!.

Within 24 hours, following widespread internet backlash, Tumblr quietly returned those blogs back to internal and external search, and folded its “Adult” blogs into the wider “NSFW” category.

Tumblr said adult content would simply be flagged as NSFW, so people in safe mode can avoid it. Those blogs will still be indexed by third-party search engines, Tumblr said.

In May, after purchasing Tumblr for $ 1.1 billion, Yahoo! Chief Executive Marissa Mayer promised to “let Tumblr be Tumblr.”

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69 more reader comments:

  1. Boooooo.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:09pm
  2. What the….?

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:10pm
  3. That´s because anything Yahoo! touches die.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:10pm
  4. How dumb

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:10pm
  5. Fucks sake. I like tumblr too.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:11pm
  6. It´s because people keep flooding those tags with porn and if they don´t make their app family-friendly, it´ll get pulled from Apple´s app store.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:11pm
  7. Wow. Ok.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:11pm
  8. Use the LGBTQ tag, Tumblr staff monitors that tag specifically so it´s porn-free and safe for the app.
    The gay/lesbian tags had too much porn.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:13pm
  9. Huh?

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:13pm
  10. Well, fuck you too, other google!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:13pm
  11. *facepalm*

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:13pm
  12. damn! That should not be the case… (however, I´m too old for porn anyway)

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:14pm
  13. How nice, more corporate filtering by a major tech company. As if the NSA is that bad when you have Yahoo and Facebook doing most of the censoring to restrict what we see and hear.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:14pm
  14. Time to boycott!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:14pm
  15. I just did a yahoo search, mind you i am canadian. No issues

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:15pm
  16. I hope they also banned “straight.”

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:15pm
  17. Still works for me

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:15pm
  18. Guys, listen to Hannah and Margaret; it´s not an attack on the LGBT community.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:15pm
  19. What´s wrong with porn on Tumblr, now?

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:16pm
  20. Thomas- I just checked, looks like “straight” is blocked on the app as well

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:17pm
  21. it´s not necessarily about homosex; could be just another symptom of the interwebz´s obsession with the word buttsecks

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:18pm
  22. ie serch THAT term lol

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:19pm
  23. I´m confused, absolutely no tags are blocked on my tumblr. Porn related or otherwise. Is it on the app only?

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:20pm
  24. Everything yahoo touches, yahoo destroys…

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:20pm
  25. They also blocked “depression”, “self-harm”, and a few other terms that aren´t sexuality based. At least on the Android app (for me personally) the terms are showing “no posts” which means that you cannot search them.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:21pm
  26. I was able to see all the tags on my app..

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:21pm
  27. Freedom of Speech I guess. If they own it, what are you going to do? Boycott them and move on to another search engine. I like Google and always have.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:21pm
  28. Woody – yes it is the app only.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:22pm
  29. Good god… But the tags are also for pride and awareness stuff, not just nsfw stuff…

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:30pm
  30. Not working on my iPad so I´m getting rid of it

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:31pm
  31. As long as it doesn´t affect the actual website, I´m fine with that. I don´t own a smartphone. And I´ve always liked Tumblr because anyone could post anything they wanted, and express themselves in any way they wanted to.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:32pm
  32. So what is their defence? I´m assuming their base is religious and in their assumption ´moral?´ So how do THEY defend their straight porn? Are those people married? Is their age of consent? Are their sex acts deferred as ´what´s right?´ But in whose eyes? This is complete and utter bullshit prejudice and we are in 2013 not 1913! Why don´t they focus on CHILD pornography? Yahoo you have lost many today.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:32pm
  33. What the hell?…now what? Google?…MUST HAS PORN!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:34pm
  34. How can I send a message of dissatisfaction to tumbler

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:37pm
  35. They need to block all that Hitler, dead bloody bodies & dead babies not to mention the racists stuff. I just saw some gay/lesbian stuff there……..

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:42pm
  36. Looks to me like people aren´t even reading the article. The tumblr App obviously cannot be explicit and can´t have explicit content on it.

    Those tags aren´t just getting blocked under the assumption that they are pornographic, they are getting blocked BECAUSE those tags are FLOODED with porn. From experience, I can tell you that searching under those tags, you will find more porn and pornographic images than anything else.

    This isn´t an attack on LGBT people. This isn´t an attack on gays and lesbians. This isn´t and attack on anyone. If they want their app available to people, they have to abide by certain criteria. They cannot help that they have to block certain tags because people can´t label their porn correctly…

    Cripes, I am all about gay rights, but there´s just somethings people are getting up in arms about for no reason. And clearly a lot of you have jumped the gun way too fast…

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:44pm
  37. Ironic is the fact that Yahoo! was named as an LGBT-friendly company by the HRC.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 7:49pm
  38. Not cool.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 8:00pm
  39. Wow…

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 8:01pm
  40. BOOOOOOO !!!!!! pathetic sheeeeeppp baaaaaaahhh !!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 8:05pm
  41. They should block “Hetero” and “Douche” too then.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 8:05pm
  42. In the end, after everything was said and done, it seems like a pretty fair deal that the tags are simply flagged in safe mode. Don´t like it? Turn off safe mode. Easy enough. There´s absolutely nothing discriminatory about this, and I don´t know why so many people keep trying to fan the flames and called it an attack on LGBT. It´s not- it´s what they have to do to keep their product (the app) on the market, otherwise the app store will ban them.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 8:06pm
  43. WTF???

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 8:09pm
  44. Remember, this is just about keeping the app safe and as free from porn as possible (so that they aren´t taken out of the app market place) and the tags that commonly yield porn results are blocked (including the “straight” tag). Tumblr has the #LGBTQ tag that they monitor so it is app-safe. The LGBTQ tag has a lot of good news posts, pictures and stories for and about the gay community. This tag was also commonly featured on the apps search page before it got redesigned. The Tumblr/Yahoo people aren´t being homophobic, the app just has to follow stricter guidelines when it comes to adult content.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 8:16pm
  45. I read that the CEO wanted to make Tumblr more “Family friendly” because clearly Tumblr is for kids now.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 8:18pm
  46. Jayce- Unfortunately that is true, and blogs have been getting flagged as NSFW making them harder to find in search tags. I haven´t had trouble personally yet, so this also might be more of an app thing (I still see all the content when searching tags from a home computer).

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 8:25pm
  47. People use Tumblr for things other than gay porn? #news2me

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 8:33pm
  48. WTF!!! Get your stupid bigoted head outta your ass. Family friendly should includes ALL families. Not just the ones YOU favor!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 8:41pm
  49. Dump Yahoo!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 8:54pm
  50. SO they suggest using #lgbtq? How long toil that comes up with porn? Drop Apple. Screw their nanny state iTune ecosystem.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 9:05pm
  51. I told people this would happen, but I was told I was just nuts.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 9:18pm
  52. I dunno, I´ve been using the LGBTQ tag for over a year and haven´t seen porn, it´s always been well maintained. Though I do agree that apps their apps shouldn´t bother with such strict filtering, or at least if the owner of the account is an adult we should be able to turn off the censoring.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 9:22pm
  53. It´s weird though these tags have been blocked on the (apple) app for months now, and long before Yahoo took over. Why are people just now noticing this?

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 9:25pm
  54. Apple blocks everything that isn´t squeeky clean. but now tumblr is blocking those searches on desktop pc´s

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 10:02pm
  55. People, stop pulling the bigot and anti-gay cards. Don´t be like stereotypical African Americans who pull the race card at every negative thing. Think with your heads before you jump to assumptions.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 10:33pm
  56. Well, that won´t last long considering the high volume of lesbian tumblrs.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 10:42pm
  57. this is an extremely valid thing to do, as any tumblr user would know

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 10:47pm
  58. this is stupid. they need to fix their software. Many of us don´t equate lgbt to porn and it´s bullshit to punish us for the misbehaviour of some.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 11:07pm
  59. Google has had that policy in effect for a while. At first I was offended, but then I realized that the reality is, you search for “lesbian” and you are going to get all sorts of adult material. You can still search it, but it doesn´t give auto-fill results

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 11:14pm
  60. People still use Yahoo ? Seriously ?

    Posted on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 11:37pm
  61. WHAT

    Posted on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 1:01am
  62. fucking shitballs what is this bullshit

    Posted on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 1:01am
  63. BOYCOTT–Tumblr !!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 2:04am
  64. That sucks! I love Tumblr! I can´t believe they´d screw us over like this.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 2:26am
  65. discrimination

    Posted on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 2:39am
  66. Well, it´s about time to change your search engines and home pages….!!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 3:10am
  67. Fucking Yahoo! “We´re not going to change anything!” LIARS!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 5:05am
  68. Couldn´t Yahoo just stay the fuck out of it? Tumblr was great just the way it was

    Posted on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 11:14am
  69. They should be working and not cruising the internet

    Posted on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 1:14pm