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Tumblr just added a switch in the iOS Settings that lets you turn the porn back on

Here’s an interesting change: Tumblr’s iOS application just received an update which now lets you turn on or off adult-oriented, NSFW search results just by toggling a switch in iOS’s Settings. That’s right: you can now switch on or off the Tumblr porn with ease. Weirder still, Tumblr’s note about the change in the App Store update text says this was implemented per Apple’s content guidelines.

Why is that weird?

Because Apple’s developer guidelines at least today explicitly tell app developers not to do this sort of thing.

Above: Tumblr’s iOS app update text

While Apple has never permitted explicit apps whose sole purpose is to serve pornography, it long ago carved out an exception for social networks hosting user-generated content, provided they agreed to filter and hide the NSFW content by default.

This is an issue that greatly impacts Tumblr, given that its blogging network is actually composed of a lot of porn. In fact, according to website analytics service SimilarWeb, adult content is the top category that drives direct clicks to Tumblr’s desktop site, accounting for 20.53% of clicks, compared with the next-largest referring category, books and literature, which drove just 7.61% of clicks.

Above: Tumblr’s new porn toggle

Tumblr has always had NSFW content, saying that its policy about this sort of material is a live-and-let-live kind of thing, but it draws the line at actually hosting sexually explicit videos. (Embed them, it says.)

To be allowed into the iTunes App Store, Tumblr has had to filter out and hide this content in its iOS app by default. There’s a loophole, though as I’m sure many of you know.

According to Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines, apps like Tumblr are allowed to show the NSFW content if the user turns the setting on via the services website.

Here’s the full text, per Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines, about how this system is supposed to work, emphasis ours:

Apps with user-generated content or services that end up being used primarily for pornographic content, objectification of real people (e.g. hot-or-not voting), making physical threats, or bullying do not belong on the App Store and may be removed without notice. If your app includes user-generated content from a web-based service, it may display incidental mature NSFW content, provided that the content is hidden by default and only displayed when the user turns it on via your website.

Tumblr clearly fits in that latter category of apps that display incidental mature NSFW content, but it’s now being told to put a toggle in iOS’s Settings?


The most logical explanation for this sort of change is that Apple will allow this setting to be locked down via its parental controls at some point. That’s not the case right now, though.

Under Settings > General > Restrictions, you can block the kids from using Apple’s built-in apps, block app downloads, and can block apps based on their current rating. (Tumblr is rated 17+, for example). However, there is not a way to force something like a Safe Search toggle switch to remain on.

Above: iOS 10’s Restrictions screen

It’s possible that Apple will roll out improved parental controls in the next version of its mobile operating system, iOS 11, which is expected to be announced at WWDC this summer. Perhaps it directed Tumblr to implement this setting in preparation of that change. (And maybe Apple didn’t expect Tumblr to code the fix so quickly or call it out in the apps update text!)

Other apps where adult content could be a concern like Google, Twitter, Reddit, Flickr, 500px, and Pinterest don’t currently offer this sort of toggle switch in the iOS Settings, even though they may offer content filtering mechanisms of their own in their apps or on their websites.

Tumblr used to have in-app Safe Search controls as well, somehow bypassing Apple’s rules. This is an area Apple has cracked down on before, as with third-party Reddit apps. But in that case, the Reddit app makers were advised that after removing their toggle switches, users would have to turn on NSFW content from the Reddit website, as per Apple’s guidelines. Tumblr is doing it differently.

Of course, another explanation is that Apple is just chilling out about NSFW content in general, but that seems far less likely given the company’s historical position on a being a family-friendly App Store.

“Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone,” Steve Jobs famously said.

Apple has not responded to requests for comment about the matter. Tumblr declined to comment.

Disclosure: Yahoo owns Tumblr, and is in the process of being acquired by Verizon; Verizon owns TechCrunch parent company AOL.

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Madcap Logic’s New ‘Creativity Express’ Suite of Apps Receives Top 5-Star Awards from the Educational App Store. They’re Creative Mobile Fun Parents Can Feel Good About!

Tampa, Florida (PRWEB) April 21, 2015

Look for ‘Art Education’ in the App Store, and you won’t find it. Sure, there’s Painting and Drawing, and Music, Geology, Astronomy and a host of other subjects. Still there’s no true category for Art – one that gives children the elements and principles of art in a way that they can understand, even have fun with. Madcap Logic is pleased to fill that niche with their new suite of Creativity Express Apps.

The Educational App Store has awarded all four Creativity Express Apps their to 5-star rating. All Apps are recognized for learning outcomes including Cognitive Development, Communication Skills, Collaboration Skills and Creative Development.

Each App is a set of four lessons, covering the full 16 lesson Creativity Express curriculum. The Apps move in sequence:

Start with Art” contains the first four introductory lessons from Creativity Express. Start With Art begins the sequence of four apps, which cover the full 16 lessons of Creativity Express. The lessons in Start With Art are designed to begin a child’s journey into the world of art, creativity, and visual learning.

Includes: ‘Art as a Language’, ‘Messages in Art’, ‘Line’, ’Shape & Form’

Color Smart” contains the second set of four lessons from Creativity Express. The lessons in Color Smart focus on color theory, the use of color in artwork to create an emotional response, and the chemistry and history of making paint.

Includes: ‘Value’, ‘Color’, ‘Warm & Cool Colors’, ‘Making Paint’

Envision Art” contains the third installment of Creativity Express. The four lessons of Envision Art use the foundations of the previous apps to explore subtle but sophisticated techniques artists use to convey emotions and communicate through their work.

Includes: ‘Eyes’, ‘Movement’, ‘Emphasis’, ‘Portraits’

Charting Art” contains the last four lessons of Creativity Express. These final lessons make cross-curricular connections to math and history, engaging children in more complex subjects using art as the compass.

Includes: ‘Time’, ‘Math’, ‘Museums’, ‘Inspiration’

Each App Features:

  Animated art guides – Tickles, Furnace, and Ruby – lead children through four fun and engaging cross-curricular lessons designed to enhance your child’s critical thinking skills and unlock their creativity and problem solving capability.
  8 ‘Creativity Builders’ art projects give children hands-on experience using knowledge from each lesson. Two projects per lesson, the topics range from making a time capsule to designing a movie set.
  A ‘Parents’ page detailed guide to each Creativity Builders project including objectives, vocabulary, materials and procedures.
  Idea Gizmo to jump-start your child’s imagination and creative thinking skills.
  Doodle Gizmo -A fun, easy-to-use drawing and painting program for your mobile device.
  Comprehensive Glossary of art terms and definitions

These four apps are available individually, or as a discounted Bundle in the App Store.

About Madcap Logic:

Madcap Logic, LLC was founded in 2003 by former animators from The Walt Disney Company with a vision to re-define Art Education. Collaborating with professional educators they produced Creativity Express, a multi-award winning online curriculum that meets the National Standards for the Visual Arts. Sixteen cross-curricular lessons teach the elements and principles of art, with an added focus on empowering kids’ inner creativity, imagination and critical thinking skills. Today, Madcap Logic is known for developing fun, innovative educational products that help kids achieve a new understanding of the visual world around them. .

Madcap Logic’s ‘Character Lab‘ App further showcases the company’s artistic talents with an innovative approach to messaging. ‘Character Lab’ allows for manipulation of characters, props and settings to create unique images that tell visually comic stories. Character Lab is available in the App Store.

About the Educational App Store:

The Educational App Store (EAS) are educational app specialists, who provide personalised services relating to the successful integration of mobile learning in schools, colleges and universities. The EAS believe that a focus on matching educational apps to the curriculum is key for ensuring that both educators and learners get the most out of their mobile learning experience. They focus on performance, educational value and curriculum alignment when assessing the apps within their store. As well as writing a written review, teachers use a set of criteria, called Rubrics, to assess apps based on their learning outcomes and award a Certification, which is presented as a score out of 5 stars.

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Balefire Labs Announces Winners of Best Educational Apps of 2014 Awards

Tyngsborough, MA (PRWEB) January 14, 2015

Balefire Labs, Inc ( — provider of online, preK-12, educational app reviews for teachers and parents– announced today the winning apps of its second annual Best EdApp awards competition.

“We’re thrilled to award our ‘Best EdApp’ of the year awards for 2014,” said Karen L. Mahon, Ed.D., President and Founder of Balefire Labs. “In 2014 we reviewed more than 2,000 educational apps according to our objective, science-based review criteria. The 18 apps that have won this award top our charts and do the best job of meeting those criteria. We hope that receiving this award will help these developers achieve greater recognition in the edtech space and with teachers and parents. We also hope this will lead to more kids successfully using these apps!”

Winners of the Best EdApp of 2014 award include the following apps:

Best English Language Arts Apps of 2014

Eggy Phonics 1

by Blake eLearning: Ages 6-8 yrs

Eggy Phonics 2

by Blake eLearning: Ages 7-9 yrs

Eggy Phonics 3

by Blake eLearning: Ages 7-9 yrs

Jog Nog

by G7 Research, LLC: Ages 8-18 yrs

Simplex Spelling Phonics Advanced Phonograms

by Pyxwise Software, Inc.: Ages 7-11 yrs

Sky Fish Phonics

by Knowbility: Ages 4-6 yrs

Tell Me About It!

by Different Roads to Learning: Ages 0-7 yrs

Best Mathematics Apps of 2014

2nd Grade Math: Common Core State Standards education skills mastery game for children

by LogTera, Inc.: Age 8 yrs

3rd Grade Math: Common Core worksheets game for kids

by LogTera, Inc.: Age 9 yrs

Common Core Math for Teachers

by Front Row by Front Row Education, Inc.: Ages 6-14 yrs.

Jog Nog

by G7 Research, LLC: Ages 8-18 yrs.

Turbo Math Game Grades K-4 – Educational App for Kindergarten, First, Second, Third and Fourth Grade Kids

by Odinix: Ages 6-10 yrs.

Best Science Apps of 2014

Jog Nog

by G7 Research, LLC: Ages 8-18 yrs

L2Code CSS – Learn to Code!

by SparkNET Interactive: Ages 13-19+ yrs

L2Code HTML – Learn to Code!

by SparkNET Interactive: Ages 13-19+ yrs

L2Code Javascript – Learn to Code!

by SparkNET Interactive: Ages 13-19+ yrs

L2Code jQuery – Learn to Code

by SparkNET Interactive: Ages 15-19+ yrs

Lipa Train

by Lipa Learning s.r.o.: Ages 0-8 yrs.

Shutterbugs: Wiggle and Stomp

by Smithsonian Institution: Ages 7-8 yrs.

Best Social Studies Apps of 2014

Jog Nog

by G7 Research, LLC: Ages 8-18 yrs

U.S. Geography

by MindSnacks by MindSnacks: Ages 10-13 yrs.

Unlike many other awards in the edtech marketplace, Balefire Labs does not require an entry fee for the “Best EdApp” award competition. Instead, every app that is reviewed at Balefire Labs is considered for the award. “We feel that requiring an entry fee is inconsistent with our values,” says Mahon. “We think every app should have the opportunity to be recognized for its excellence, not just the ones created by developers who can afford an entry fee.”

Developers of the winning apps will be offered Balefire Labs’ “Best EdApp 2014” badge to use in their marketing efforts.

About Balefire Labs, Inc.

Based in Tyngsborough, Mass., Balefire Labs, Inc. is a provider of tools and services that foster a child’s learning & achievement. Launched in 2013, the online service provides parents and teachers objective evaluations on PreK-12 educational apps based on rigorous, scientifically-validated criteria, so they are confident they are choosing products that are most beneficial for their children. It is the only service available that uses objective criteria and makes its evaluation process transparent to parents and teachers so they have peace of mind.

For more information about the apps that won this award please visit

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