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Google Just Made It Harder to Find Boobs

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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  • hokkdawg
    OK for some reason, the stock image of the fat guy in this article actually made me burst out laughing this time.
    Reply
  • patents = parents?

    Too many Apple stories lately I guess....
    Reply
  • skidawgz
    today marks the first time i have ever typed "bing.com"
    Reply
  • Google's evil information controlling, body hating censorship is sickening. This sets a very poor precedent.
    Reply
  • Soda-88
    JmbrGoogle's evil information controlling, body hating censorship is sickening. This sets a very poor precedent.You can turn SafeSearch off, you know...
    Reply
  • Fokissed
    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.
    Reply
  • hoofhearted
    Or just use booble.com
    Reply
  • kinggraves
    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.
    Reply
  • elbert
    I wonder if anyone will get sued using that world of warcraft rant picture for other subjects? :)
    Reply
  • cats_Paw
    chaaaazipatents = parents?Too many Apple stories lately I guess....Good one!
    Porn leak in google from hackers in 3... 2.... 1....
    Reply