Tumblr begins filtering ‘torrent’ searches, tags

Adam Westlake - Feb 22, 2015, 11:00 am CST
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Tumblr begins filtering ‘torrent’ searches, tags

Since Yahoo acquired Tumblr, they have been cautious to make changes, if any, to the social network. However, it appears there have been a few adjustments recently to the censorship or filtering of tags searches. But it’s not related to adult content, something that many users fond of the site feared would change when Yahoo took over, rather it’s mentions of the word “torrent.” This could be related to a new initiative to fight piracy, but any searches for “torrent” will come up blank, both for public and logged in users.

This filtering is applied to any posts on Tumblr that mention the word, or feature the “torrent” tag. Fortunately this can censoring can be turned off, as it is just related to the “safe mode” setting that is turned on by default. That’s right, the term “torrent” is now grouped together with potentially offensive adult material.

The safe made set to “on” became the default setting on Tumblr over a year ago, no doubt a subtle way for Yahoo to protect unsuspecting users. But not all mentions of the word “torrent” mean the post is related to piracy or adult content, as one Tumblr user, a developer at Vuze, humorously mentions, even posts about streams of water flowing over rocks are caught up in the filtering.

Whatever the reason for Tumblr’s censorship of the search term, legitimate content is being unnecessarily hidden. One could say that this serves as a prime example of how internet censorship is a double-edged sword.

SOURCE Torrent Freak


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