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Google Just Made It Harder to Find Boobs

By - Source: ZDNet | B 35 comments

Google has tweaked the SafeSearch filter so that porn doesn't leak into image search results.

ZDNet reports that web surfers are "reacting angrily" because Google has modified its "SafeSearch" feature, making it more difficult to find explicit content in image search results.

For parents and those who'd rather not be frightened by results stemming from search queries like "cucumber" and "hotdog", SafeSearch is a handy tool for toning down or completely blocking offending sexual and other questionable content. Typically it was easy to set: simply adjust the lever to "on", "moderate" or "off".

But now Google has revamped this system so that it's much harder for bare breasts and other fleshy acts to jump into image search results. But even more, it's harder for end-users to customize the filter itself. As it stands now, there's only a single option to "filter explicit content" – whatever Google deems explicit will be removed from search results no matter the content.

Google has also added a SafeSearch lock so that parents and businesses can prevent children and employees from accidentally or purposely finding explicit images. However this lock only applies to the Google user who is logged in to their account, and not for others browsing Google images using their own login credentials.

"SafeSearch filters provide you with the ability to change your browser setting to prevent adult content from appearing in your search results," Google states. "No filter is 100 percent accurate, but SafeSearch should help you avoid most of this type of material."

Google users point out that the change came without warning: there was no official announcement, no update to the Google blogs. Web surfers looking for naughty content – those even with the SafeSearch option turned off – were taken by surprise, and took to Reddit to vent their frustrations. Meanwhile, ZDNet reports that the new filter in place resembles the Moderate setting of old rather than "a total overhaul to the system".

"We are not censoring any adult content, and want to show users exactly what they are looking for -- but we aim not to show sexually-explicit results unless a user is specifically searching for them," a Google rep told CNET. "We use algorithms to select the most relevant results for a given query. If you're looking for adult content, you can find it without having to change the default setting -- you just may need to be more explicit in your query if your search terms are potentially ambiguous. The image search settings now work the same way as in Web search."

With that in mind, Google users can still search for anything they want with SafeSearch turned off, only now the search term needs to be appended with the word "porn" to pull up any raunchy results – or something similar.


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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    hokkdawg , December 13, 2012 12:04 PM
    OK for some reason, the stock image of the fat guy in this article actually made me burst out laughing this time.
  • 25 Hide
    Soda-88 , December 13, 2012 12:59 PM
    JmbrGoogle's evil information controlling, body hating censorship is sickening. This sets a very poor precedent.

    You can turn SafeSearch off, you know...
  • 23 Hide
    skidawgz , December 13, 2012 12:25 PM
    today marks the first time i have ever typed "bing.com"
Other Comments
    Display all 35 comments.
  • 26 Hide
    hokkdawg , December 13, 2012 12:04 PM
    OK for some reason, the stock image of the fat guy in this article actually made me burst out laughing this time.
  • 19 Hide
    Anonymous , December 13, 2012 12:21 PM
    patents = parents?

    Too many Apple stories lately I guess....
  • 23 Hide
    skidawgz , December 13, 2012 12:25 PM
    today marks the first time i have ever typed "bing.com"
  • 25 Hide
    Soda-88 , December 13, 2012 12:59 PM
    JmbrGoogle's evil information controlling, body hating censorship is sickening. This sets a very poor precedent.

    You can turn SafeSearch off, you know...
  • 19 Hide
    Fokissed , December 13, 2012 1:11 PM
    JmbrGoogle's evil information controlling, body hating censorship is sickening. This sets a very poor precedent.

    Google has tweaked the SafeSearch filter so that porn doesn't leak into image search results.
    Perhaps you missed the subtitle.
  • 6 Hide
    hoofhearted , December 13, 2012 1:11 PM
    Or just use booble.com
  • 0 Hide
    kinggraves , December 13, 2012 1:14 PM
    Leave SafeSearch on by default, making users turn it off if they want smut. It's not that hard. They had no reason to change it. By turning Safesearch off I made an adult decision to allow my content to be uncensored. Filtering any results after SafeSearch is off is continued censorship of my results.

    Google clearly doesn't understand that part of making a functioning search engine is delivering users the EXACT results they wanted, even if those results are a piracy torrent, porn, or a competitors product. They are sinking the ship that made this company what it is.

    "But all you have to do is put in 'porn'." Great, I wonder how many of those searches are going to get flagged and sent off to the porn industry who's just aching to sue everyone they can for pirating smut. This isn't about protection, it's about sorting the searches into the content people are after. People cannot claim they accidently found adult images now, much more easy to track.
  • 0 Hide
    elbert , December 13, 2012 1:21 PM
    I wonder if anyone will get sued using that world of warcraft rant picture for other subjects? :) 
  • 1 Hide
    cats_Paw , December 13, 2012 1:56 PM
    chaaaazipatents = parents?Too many Apple stories lately I guess....

    Good one!
    Porn leak in google from hackers in 3... 2.... 1....
  • 6 Hide
    f-14 , December 13, 2012 1:59 PM
    google would be better off just having a porn button mode you can toggle on or off.

    can i get $10k for that one google?
  • 2 Hide
    aredeecee , December 13, 2012 2:02 PM
    But can it filter all non explicit material?
  • 0 Hide
    DRosencraft , December 13, 2012 2:25 PM
    JacekRingAfter reading the above comments, I believe that only HALF of you read the article...


    That's how it works with stories like this; people fly off on a rant before understanding anything about the story or its subject matter. There's nothing "scandalous" about updating a feature that was itself originally created for this exact purpose, and which is almost ridiculously easy to circumvent. Everyone needs to chill.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , December 13, 2012 2:36 PM
    "We are not censoring any adult content."

    This is a straight up lie. There is a lot of content censored by google. Websites featuring lolicon for example. Even if they are completely legal in your country and hosted in the US. Google is also very picky about who they block. Pixiv.net hosts lolicon content and isn't blocked, since they are big and meaningful. So they are not even straight about what they do.
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , December 13, 2012 3:04 PM
    They're making their own feature work better, the way it's supposed to. Has the world gone nuts or do people not want SafeSearch to be "safe" anymore? I mean that's the point after all.

    And i'm not sure what the Tom's news section is now. Is it a news feed that takes itself seriously or a blog that doesn't? Please decide for god's sake. Half the time i think i'm reading whatever people keep accusing fox news to be. And that too, i read things a week before they hit Tom's without even trying to hard.
  • 0 Hide
    jayweiner , December 13, 2012 3:05 PM
    Just use google.co.uk and go to images. It still uses the old US settings where you can turn the filter off entirely.
  • 2 Hide
    geost91gr , December 13, 2012 3:16 PM
    Lost all faith in humanity after reading comments from people compaining they can't find spicy stuff on the Internet unless they type in "porn". Now they think they have to be disgustingly precise on what they want and that makes them feel guilty.
  • 2 Hide
    dozerman , December 13, 2012 3:18 PM
    People need to chill out. Nothing is being censored. Your porn is still right where you found it last time.
  • 1 Hide
    PadaV4 , December 13, 2012 5:37 PM
    This article is written so bad no wonder so many people are confused. They actually have removed the option to turn safe search off completly!! Now you can either turn it on sctrict or moderate, there is no off option anymore!! They have essentially removed the choice for users. The new system is the same old one just without the off option. thanks google. Time to go BING?
  • 3 Hide
    gm0n3y , December 13, 2012 5:46 PM
    Soda-88You can turn SafeSearch off, you know...

    According to the article even if you do turn it off they will still censor material.
    Quote:
    If you're looking for adult content, you can find it without having to change the default setting -- you just may need to be more explicit in your query if your search terms are potentially ambiguous

    So they're saying that I now need to make changes to my search to explicitly tell them I want adult material. I just want the most relevant results - adult or not. Now I am getting the most relevant non-adult results only.
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