By Robert Schoon (r.schoon@latinospost.com) | First Posted: Jul 20, 2013 10:49 AM EDT

(Photo : Tumblr)

This week in social media Tumblr learned about a huge vulnerability that it subsequently fixed. But it also tried to fix NSFW content, and stirred up a bit of a fuss. Twitter also added a NSFW filter, but that was less controversial. 

Tumblr iOS App Hack Found and Patched

Tumblr's iOS app gave everyone a little heart attack this week, when it was discovered that it was failing to log users in through a secure server. As a result, people logging in to Tumblr through an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch that was connected to an unsecured wireless server could have their passwords stolen easily. That's because the passwords were being sent as plaintext, says the Register, which reported it after one of their readers found the flaw.

Soon after that vulnerability was reported, Tumblr was working on a fix to the problem. It announced an update for the iOS Tumblr app on its blog, saying:

"We have just released a very important security update for our iPhone and iPad apps addressing an issue that allowed passwords to be compromised in certain circumstances¹. Please download the update now.

If you've been using these apps, you should also update your password on Tumblr and anywhere else you may have been using the same password...

Please know that we take your security very seriously and are tremendously sorry for this lapse and inconvenience."

 Tumblr: NSFW Content Behind a Curtain

Another change came to Tumblr this week, and its one that's more controversial. Tumblr is putting NSFW content, i.e., porn, out of reach of almost anyone, by delisting it from being searchable and from tag pages.

Tumblr explained the change as a part of the site's evolution, which started last year, when they added the "Safe Mode" filter for users to set their own rules for what they wanted to see on Tumblr. Additionally, Tumblr de-listed some NSFW pages from outside search engines. On Tumblr's blog explaining the change, Tumblr said, " in an effort to discourage some not-so-nice people from using Tumblr as free hosting for spammy commercial porn sites, we started delisting this tiny subset of blogs from search engines like Google." 

But the change wasn't completely welcome, garnering criticism from some, like Vallywag's Sam Biddle. Biddle argued that Tumblr's new rules make it impossible for anyone to know that some NSFW Tumblr pages exist, unless they already have a link to the site. This means finding porn on the site is more difficult (which, Biddle argues, is a source of revenue for the site, which, newly bought by Yahoo, is trying to monetize). But it also means that, while Yahoo isn't censoring Tumblr, it is changing the culture and rules there, which is just the opposite of what CEO Melissa Mayer said she'd do when she promised to "not screw it up."

Twitter: Less Drastic NSFW Update

Meanwhile, Twitter had a less controversial update to its iOS and Android apps relating to NSFW content. In the last update to the mobile apps, according to AllThingsD, Twitter introduced a filter that automatically keeps potentially pornographic, violent, or medically explicit images out of your twitter stream.

An example of a sensitive tweet warning (Credit: AllThingsD)
An example of a sensitive tweet warning (Credit: AllThingsD)

Now you'll have an option to view it or not, which is a nice little bit of freedom from Twitter. 

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