World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0002459625
Reproduction Date:

Title: SafeSearch  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Google Search, Scunthorpe problem, Content-control software, Google SearchWiki, AI Challenge
Collection: Content-Control Software, Google Search
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


SafeSearch is a feature of Google Search that acts as an automated filter of pornography and potentially offensive content.

A 2003 report by Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society stated that SafeSearch excluded many innocuous websites from search-result listings, including ones created by the White House, IBM, the American Library Association and Liz Claiborne.[1] On the other hand, many pornographic images slip through the filter, even when "innocent" search terms are entered. Blacklisting certain search terms is hindered by homographs (e.g., "beaver"),[2] blacklisting certain URLs is rendered ineffective by the changing URLs of porn sites, and software to tag images with copious amounts of flesh tones as pornographic content is problematic because there are a variety of skin tones and pictures of babies tend to have a lot of flesh tones.[3] Google's ability to filter porn has been an important factor in its relationship with the People's Republic of China.[4]

On 11 November 2009 Google introduced SafeSearch Lock,[5] which allows users with Google accounts to lock on the "Strict" mode of SafeSearch in Google's Web, image and video searches. Once configured, the user can log out of their Google account and the setting will stick to prevent any change to the filtering level.

There are alternative search sites which provide an equivalent to the homepage, such as KidzSearch, but with SafeSearch enabled by default.[6] Securly is a service for schools and homes that allows IT admins and parents to enforce Safe Search with an additional layer of protection via Creative Commons license filtering.[7]

On 12 December 2012 Google removed the option to turn off the filter entirely, requiring users to enter more specific search queries to access adult content[8][9][10] But this happens only to English sites and non-English users are still required to be careful with their local language search as Google is not filtering most of the adult contents even with safe search on and with specific keywords.

See also


  1. ^ Benjamin Edelman (April 14, 2003). "Empirical Analysis of Google SafeSearch". Harvard University. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Canada's The Beaver magazine renamed to end porn mix-up". AFP. January 12, 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Paul Festa (July 2, 2001). "Porn sneaks past search filters". CNET News. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Fletcher, Owen (7 September 2009). "Google porn filter gained China's thumbs-up". Network World. 
  5. ^ Pete Lidwell (November 11, 2009). "Locking SafeSearch". Google Official Blog. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  6. ^ Dino Grandoni (12 December 2012). "Google Porn Just Got More Difficult To Search For". Huffington Post. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  7. ^ Fred Benenson (July 9, 2009). "Google Image Search Implements CC License Filtering". Creative commons. 
  8. ^ Casey Newton (December 12, 2012). "Google tweaks image search to make porn harder to find". CNET News. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  9. ^ Matthew Panzarino (12 December 2012). "Google tweaks image search algorithm and SafeSearch option to show less explicit content". TNW. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  10. ^ Josh Wolford (December 16, 2012). "Google No Longer Allows You to Disable SafeSearch, and That Makes Google Search Worse". Web Pro News. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.