According to CNET's Casey Newton, Google has made changes to their image search algorithm which will make it "tougher to stumble across adult pictures, whether or not you're searching for them." And as to be expected, not everyone is impressed as the U.S. version offers less options to the user on the level of filtering. At the time of writing this post, Google's Canada portal still maintained the old Off, Moderate, Strict options.
Here's how a Google representative explains the change:
"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."
In other words, if you have SafeSearch turned off, you can still probably find anything you're looking for by appending the word "porn" to your search.
But that might not be enough to satisfy some users. A Reddit thread this morning found users struggling to find explicit content even with SafeSearch turned off.
"What is this? communism?!" asked user Fake_Cakeday. "BRING BACK THE PORN!"
|“That's why Facebook wants to collect all the data it can about you.”|
|Facebook to Become the New Google|
|Facebook Further Reduces Your Control Over Personal Information|
|Why I Do Not Vote|
|Facebook: The Starbucks of Social Media|
|“Google and Facebook figured out how to commodify 'reality' itself by tracking what people do.”|
|“New York Central trains in the Hudson River valley in 1928 and 1929”|
|“The latest warning sign for cities who are considering signing over public spaces to major tech companies.”|
|“Scientific evidence that digital distraction is damaging our minds.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“Buying a new smartphone every two years is taking a toll on the planet.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|"Waymo is reportedly planning to take the next step towards offering a commercial driverless car service in early December."|
|“We need to make algorithms transparent, regulated, and forgiving of the flawed creatures that converse with them.”|
|“Bias, error, and misuse of Artificial Intelligence technologies.”|
|“Forget reading the book of life—we’re now learning how to write it.”|