Is Google blocking explicit results from Image Search, regardless of SafeSearch setting?


A wise man once said, “Hell hath no fury like a man’s porn takeneth away.” While Google isn’t necessarily blocking porn sites from showing up in the normal web search, some changes Google made today to their Image Search is enraging a few lazy pr0n surfers. Users are noticing that, regardless of their SafeSearch filter setting, Google Image Search is no longer displaying the typical explicit images that come from from the usual search queries. Before you freak out, no this isn’t the Mayan apocalypse, and this isn’t Google censoring the web. Google’s just tweaked some things. In a statement to CNET, Google had this to say on the changes to their image search algorithm:

“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.”

Now, I wouldn’t really know, but I’d assume when people go searching for their evening “reading” material, the last place they travel is to Google image search. Of course, it’s also been awhile since I was in 6th grade. No matter. Do you guys think Google might be overstepping their boundaries by double filtering SafeSearch? Does anyone find it unfair that you now have to search extra hard (no pun intended) when looking for explicit material? What’s next? Searching for “Apple” brings 5 pages of fresh produce before presented with the evil logo we’ve all come to loathe? Guess there’s always Bing.

[GoogleGoogle SafeSearch]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Ron Jeremy? Why not search a girl porn star for your image lol. You’re funny Chris. But this is interesting indeed!

    1. lol I was thinking the same funny guy…funny guy

    2. I’ve heard Chris does enjoy a good tube steak from time to time.

      1. You know…joke aside I honestly doubt that statement to have any merit. Look at his hair. Dude is a boss. Probably pulls more chicks then you LOL.

      2. I’ve always been partial to italian sausages and even some of the more spicy — wait a minute! >:O

        1. Ahaahhahhaahha our mod is a legend!!!

        2. Carlos Spicy Wei….

  2. I didn’t think that using Google Image Search to search for porn meant someone was in 6th grade… I always thought it meant they were married.

    1. The accuracy of your post is disturbing….

      1. highly…

  3. Only you Chavez ;). Who needs Google when you got Porn Hub.

    1. fapdu

  4. I looked at the title and I already knew who wrote this article. Mr. Chavez You are a goon sir

  5. Don’t even get me started on naming off pr0n sites. I’ve got lots of bookmarks lol

  6. I’d be curious to see someone’s findings here. I’m not sure if this has changed, but something hackers have been doing very effectively is storing malware in images cataloged and indexed by Google. When you search for images, you’ll get hit with malware infected urls all over the place. So, if Google has started filtering for this kind of junk, an considering most of this garbage was being found when searching for objectionable content, I think you’ll begin to see a pattern.

    1. Here’s a post from back in May. Again, I don’t know if Google has changed this or not. They do already filter on standard searches. http://krebsonsecurity.com/tag/google-image-search-hack/

    2. That’s so true. I use the WOT Chrome extension which warns me before I click on anything if there are reported issues with that site or image. Phandroid has a [green circle] which gives it a 5 out of 5 rating for each of these areas: “Trustworthiness, vendor reliability, privacy, and child safety.”

  7. So I searched for “vagina” and I got some links to the Vagina Monologues, a wikipedia article on human anatomy, and Justin Beiber pics! Just what I was looking for! … :)

  8. I think they should block all x-rated pictures and sites from regular google searches. As a father of 4 children you would be amazed at what sometimes pops up when they are searching for school related searches or just for background on reports. They should make you sign in with your google account to search for porn.

    1. This is so true. I don’t even let my little cousin search for ANY images, even if it’s just her favorite Disney star. More than often, it’ll pull up a bogus “Selena Gomez sex-tape” image or something along those lines :/

      1. She has a sex-tape? she is too young for that….

        1. She doesn’t, but you’ll find a ton of look-alikes and photoshops -_-

          1. Thats weird but hey at there is safesearch and other filters that one could use to prevent coming across those pictures. ( Really truly and honestly no pun intended on that last remark that would just nasty)

          2. how you know this chris!!!!!

      2. Well you should be very happy about this new feature then, which is designed to prevent exactly that.

        I don’t think most people complaining about this change, completely understand it. It will slightly inconvenience people looking for explicit content as they will have to use more explicit terms. But for people looking for non-explicit content (and children), it will greatly reduce the chance of stumbling across explicit content accidentally.

    2. Here is a simple solution, don’t give your kids the computer that you use to search for porn and buy them a kiddy tab thats has all that censoring that you love built in. Don’t censor the porn surfers( I’m not one) just because you can’t protect your dirty role playing images on the interwebs encrypted and another thing computers have the ability to create different profiles use that feature and protect your crap but in any case you really shouldn’t be giving your kids the computer you use to jack it with in the first place!

      1. How old are you? 15? You clearly don’t have children and have never worked with your child’s homework.

        1. Nope, not 15 but you are funny. No I do not have children but I do know technology and you can’t blame it for all of your problems and if you did then that is incredibly irresponsible of you for being ignorant and not taking the time to learn how to use technology appropriately and not taking responsibility.

          Not having a kid does not invalidate my post. If you took the time to learn how to use technology correctly you wouldn’t have to worry about your kids accidentally coming across some dirty pics of you and your wife/man or some guy sticking his d in an a or v. If I was to work with a child’s homework on the internet I’d know how to handle it or if I was unfamiliar with the net i would take the kid to a library, you that place where its easy to find all the info you need with the protection of knowing that they have filters and books galore some that may not even be online…..

          1. Not having the responsibility or maturity of parenthood ABSOLUTELY invalidates your point. You’re THAT GUY lecturing the television when your favorite quarterback fumbles the ball. Or that irritating poli sci Freshman lecturing the governor of his state on how to deal with intrastate commerce during a town hall meeting.

            You talk in theory, but have no idea what you’re talking about in practice. In other words, you’re a poser.

            Let’s finish this discussion when you’ve entered the grown up world, kid.

            The bottom line is that Google did the right thing. It spared all of us those embarrassing “oooppss” moments while still allowing perverts to get their transexual midget monkey with a candlewax dildo fix.

            We all win.

          2. Just because you want it to does not mean it will and it does not. Your ignorance is overwhelming, in theory? no these are the facts of it all, if you do not know how to use technology then do not use it. You are the type of person that when confronted with problems you find the closest thing around you to blame instead of taking responsibility, funny you call me kid because I bet thats exactly what you are; a little young teen who probably among the other statistics have a kid early because you fooled around without thinking of the consequences, its incredibly ironic that you call me a kid yet your replies are the most irresponsible like that of a kid. I take responsibility for my actions so I am grown, you on the other hand no matter what your age has a LOT of growing up to do especially if you might have a kid.

            Google didn’t do right entirely, sure their motive is clean and good but nobody should have to suffer at the expense of the ignorant, which consequently happens a lot in this day and age.

    3. They need to add image search to safesearchkids.com and things would be fine then. However, I do appreciate there effort in not subjecting people who don’t want to see porn to porn.

    4. If you’re looking for some help in this area. Check out Norton DNS. It’s free. There are others as well. They will pre-filter content when it comes to doing DNS queries on the web. That is, Google may show an avenue to the site/content, but when they click the link, they will fail to access such content. Check it out here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norton_DNS

      1. did you seriously just recommend a Norton anything? They’re programs are just as bad as virus’ and maleware and typicaly the best thing you can do with a new computers is to uninstall them if it is installed before doing anything else at all. XD

    5. Kids.yahoo.com
      It’s not that hard.

      It used to be called Yahooligans.com, so the URL will take you to the same location. Found out about this because when I was in grade school, we couldn’t use Google. We had to use a search engine that was made for younger kids.

      Google isn’t the only search engine in the world. =.P

  9. Google making their Youtube app and webpage suck and now f___ed up Google Image Search…they are on a roll.

    How specific must a search be, Anne Hathaway upskirt delivered no such images :(

    1. For educational purposes(really and truly just to see if it was true), I searched boobs and they all are encased in bra’s

    2. What are you whining about? I Googled “Anne Hathaway upskirt” and got exactly the smut you were looking for. You are free to continue to be the pervert that you are.

  10. Google cockblocking. But why are they searching for Ron Jeremy? Lol

  11. I did a search on a particular fetish and got plenty of results. Not censored for me.

    1. That’s because that is how this feature is supposed to work.

      It shows you explicit results when you want it but blocks explicit results when you don’t want it.

      The problem here is, that people looking for explicit content will now have to use more explicit terms when searching.

      1. so i want naughty images but now have to type dirtier words lol???? oh shucks :rolleyes:

        1. Slightly inconvenient, but it will prevent people who aren’t searching for explicit content (as well as children) from accidentally stumbling across explicit content.

          So positives outweigh the negatives, in my opinion.

  12. So basically they are saying you need to add b00bs, a$$, naked, to the celebrity’s name you’re looking for pics for.

  13. I see this as a good thing. My kids will get less boobage exposure. When the time comes, I’m sure my son will find what he’s looking for LOL

  14. oh god why, i hate you for this chirs, i googled the name on that image and checked the Wikipedia page for it and found out its a hairy guy that can suck his own d*ck! why chris why! i wanna puke now >._.<

  15. Actually, to talk about your pun, if a gardener where searching “Apple” you may actually find apples. If you have personal settings on and your personal settings are tailored to the fruit, then why would they show you Apple devices when you search for “Apple”?

    So if you want your porn to show up, then you have to have your personal settings on. I don’t see anything wrong with what’s going on. =.S

  16. Fear not, Mr. Chavez will report on the important subjects :) Nice .JPG BTW

  17. purely for academic purposes.. who is that girl on the topic picture? :D

    1. Ditto.

    2. With a name like “big boobs”, she should be easy to find ;-)

      (tineye found nothing, fwiw: http://www.tineye.com/search/549c15a9fcb79e2f026e5a6aca693408733f32c7/ )

      BTW, google images is terrible for me on my Nexus 7. I cannot get full screen results. Small images who resize off the screen. My ICS phone does much better.

    3. I was thinking the same thing..for a second I was about to grab some tissue but I was at work

  18. Good for Google. Porn should be gone for good.

  19. I really don’t see what the problem is with this. They are just stopping tits from popping into your face when you search innocuous terms like popping.

  20. My search for “big ass titties” turned up just fine.

    1. I tried and A huge Ass(Donkey) wearing a bra turned up is that what you were looking for? I may not agree with bestiality but hey if you get off by that then cool bro cool

  21. I don’t think it is a bad idea so much as I think it is not needed. Anyone who turns safe search off obviously knows what it includes. By removing explicit images from non safe search I’m not really sure what the difference between the two are.

    It would seem to be a better position for “moderate” as the user could then decide if they want explicit images then they can include the terms(such as “porn”) instead of changing their search settings.

  22. I’m sorry, but if you have safesurf turned off, you have no right to complain when unsafe images appear in the freaking search result…..
    If you don’t want those sort of images to appear, turn safe search the F back on… Thats why the filters are freaking there to begin with.

    WTF people? Common sense just isn’t very common anymore.

    1. No people can’t do that, people can’t have common sense and learn to use the internet properly people have to have people make the world idiot proof instead of taking the initiative to learn. This is why American Society will fail because the government will get too powerful and rape each and every one of us and they will claim its for your safety and peace of mind to know its only the government screwing you in the a and not some stranger in an alley way.

  23. so google is actually helping people find the porn they are looking for????? at least they acknowledge what a good percentage of google.com is used for LMAO

  24. LMAO at some of these guys and their comments :P Creeper status haha

  25. This is the big break Microsoft’s Bing was counting on.
    I went to BING and guess what? go all my porn back. So long Google, it was nice while it lasted.

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