Google image search changes to hide porn

Google recently rolled out change in image search algorithm has made it harder for the US users to find pornographic images. As news of the new image filter broke, users expressed dismay online about censorship and demanded explanation from Google.

Now, ‘SafeSearch’ filters in Google settings can allow users to completely block porn. Now, in the US simplified image search settings only have two options for pictures – filter all explicit results or not at all. Previously, ‘SafeSearch’ setting in US Google images search had three options.

Responding to the criticism, Google representative told tech website CNET that adult content hasn’t being censored and a user will have to search for them specifically.

“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. No filter is 100 per cent accurate, but SafeSearch should help you avoid most of this type of material,” said a Google representative.

The change in the Google image search has only been introduced in the US, as users in the UK, Canada and Europe are still able to stumble upon online pornography easily. Google has not rolled out any timetable yet to bring in change in its image search algorithm in other countries.

UK Ban on Porn

The UK government has decided to move against the ban on internet porn as it rejected the proposal, which was initiated in May. The automatic ban on adult content was introduced on the basis that children would have easy access to the online sexual explicit content.

The decision was taken after the public consultation discovered that majority of 50 percent were against the ban on internet porn. 35 percent of parents were in favour of the automatic pornography ban while only 15 percent preferred a default ban with the option to ban other content as desired.

Many people have argued that the poll did not accurately measure the voice of the people as only 757 of the 3,500 people, who were parents, cast their opinion for the consultation. A statement from the study read, “There was no great appetite among parents for the introduction of default filtering of the internet by their ISP.”

Claire Perry, a Conservative MP, had introduced the proposal for the blanket ban on internet porn in the assembly. Talking about the rejection of the proposal, Perry said, “I’m obviously disappointed that the opt-in option has been rejected. Clearly that was not the preferred choice of the 3,500 people who responded to the consultation and we have to base policy on what’s been received not what we want.”

Internet governance has come up a major area of discussion as the UN Internet treaty regulation talks are being held to decide the new governing policies of the internet. With the automatic ban on internet porn rejected, it is now upto the parents to abstain their children from any harmful content and not just porn.

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