Is Google Really Censoring 'Porn' on its Image Search Results? Updates SafeSearch Filter on Image Search

Google begin filtering or "selectively showing" hardcore porn on their image search results page "even with the Google's SafeSearch settings turned off." Now, when you search for [boobs] on Google image search, the results brings far fewer bare breasts than before and the users are prompted with this warning to "Use the SafeSearch menu to […]

Google begin filtering or "selectively showing" hardcore porn on their image search results page "even with the Google's SafeSearch settings turned off." Now, when you search for [boobs] on Google image search, the results brings far fewer bare breasts than before and the users are prompted with this warning to "Use the SafeSearch menu to filter explicit results."

Google turns Safesearch on image search; looking for porn now harder

A number of user unhappy with Google's decision, posted on Reddit, when having problems finding porno images via Google Image Search, and accusing Google of "censorship." However, Google denies of any kind of censorship in a statement issued to CNET, a Google representative said:

"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. 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."

Prior, Google did never warn, instead they defaulted the searcher to "moderate" settings and allowed changing it to off or "strict" mode. Now, the ability to turn SafeSearch on and off on Google image search is now replaced with "filter explicit images" and "report offensive images."

Google is offering two options for its SafeSearch filter to choose from:

  • "Check "Filter explicit results" to filter sexually explicit video and images from Google search results pages, as well as results that might link to explicit content.
  • Uncheck "Filter explicit results" to receive the most relevant results for your query, including explicit content when you search for it," per SafeSearch help center.

While Google denies intent of censorship, users can no longer find porn easily with Google image search now, and maybe need to refine their sexual vocabulary to reflect the changes, or head over to competitor search engines.