So, basically, they’re doing what Parler had to do in order to get back onto the App Store, and that’s to block content that “violates” Apple’s bullshit TOS from the iOS app. This, of course, isn’t necessarily new for Tumblr – after all, they used to be really porn-friendly until Yahoo bought them out, and then even the mildest nude photo was banned, along with all the porn. The Verge has an interesting article on it (although biased, obviously). The discovery of child porn on one user’s Tumblr site resulted in the iOS being pulled from the App Store, so as I said, this isn’t new for them.
Tumblr plans on this being temporary, but I doubt it will be temporary. Considering how many revolting SJWs are on Tumblr, this absolutely does not bode well. They’re not just trying to censor so-called right-wing echochambers like Parler anymore, they’re now censoring mainstream social networks like Tumblr.
This, of course, does not apply to the Android app, and the content isn’t censored on the site itself, if you choose to view it using a browser on your iOS device.
I’ve already said that we are going to have to give up on being able to use apps, because of course, any social network that actually makes its way onto Apple’s App Store is either not popular at all (like CloutHub) or is compromised to some degree (like Parler). That’s one reason why I have never really gotten into Gettr because that site had an iOS app from the get-go, and I was like, “yeah, it’s compromised and likely censored, because it has an iOS app).
Apple is adamantly opposed to allowing users to sideload apps onto its iOS and iPadOS devices, and there are some good reasons, such as security and preventing malware. Fast Company has a good article on the subject, one that was published this past summer. I still find the argument irritating, because I’m fairly tech literate and I know how to protect myself against malware, but unfortunately, the vast majority of its users are not, and if the kind of people I’ve encountered at work are any indication, our schools are not teaching much about current technology at all. I can’t even count on someone half my age to be as knowledgeable as I am about computers.
I hope that more and more sites or social networks will just eschew having an app, like Gab, just to ensure that people can express themselves freely on their sites and not have to worry about the draconian rules Apple imposes on developers.
So I am super, super grateful for plain, ordinary browsers, and that I can use those to access Tumblr and Gab and whatever else I’d like to read. Sure, it might not have some of the features of an app, but I can make sacrifices. I don’t need an app – none of us do, really, and if you have a phone with a low amount of storage, deleting the censorious apps just frees up more room for pictures or music or whatever. Of course, I no longer have that problem since I upgraded my phone and now have 256 GB of space on it.
Also, even though I am still an Apple fan and still have their products, I do have some Android devices – I have two Android smartphones and two Android tablets (which I know is overkill but I’m addicted to tech devices) in case Apple decides to crack down even harder. I hope that does not happen, but it might.
Even though that Fast Company article claims Apple won’t impose a walled garden on their macOS devices, I am not as optimistic. They do make some good points – the userbase for MacBooks and iMacs is much smaller than that of the iPhone or even the iPad, and people use the macOS devices differently than they do the iPhone. Even so, as a user of macOS, I’ve noticed some of the things Apple has done to keep you from installing software they deem as “not safe” because the developer didn’t shell out hundreds of dollars to them to attach some certificate to their program. I absolutely hate Gatekeeper, and it reminds me of Windows Vista’s User Account Control in that this safety feature just makes it incredibly difficult and time consuming to do simple things, like install a third-party program.
So anyways, another day, another instance of big tech censoring people. I do recommend just using the browser on your iOS device – so far, Safari seems okay and you can install extensions and content blockers to block the ads, which you can’t do unless you install an app that blocks the ads via a proxy or VPN. Or you can use Brave, which is also available for iOS devices. There will always be a way around their BS censorship, just like there’s always a way to download a movie or song for free. We tech heads always find a way.