Adultery Web Site Touts Google's Unethical Image Search Filter

Mar 31, 2011 • 8:49 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

Adultery Web Site not in Google Image SearchI do not know much on how the Google Image SearchSearch filter works, I do know that many safe images get caught by the filter and Google has to make exceptions but I also know that it lets through some non-safe images on occasion.

So when I spotted this Google Webmaster Help thread that said an adult oriented web site can still have images included in the moderate or strict SafeSearch filter, I was intrigued.

Susan Moskwa from Google explained "the SafeSearch filter only cares about the content of the images, not of the website." Good to know.

Outside of that tidbit, I found the thread pretty interesting to read. The user is complaining that Google is being unethical by filtering out a "company that promotes adultery" images. But yet doesn't feel adultery is unethical?

The bottom line here is that Google is only filtering the images because some of the images are pornographic and if they remove the pornographic images, the images can be included again in the SafeSearch filter. But to argue ethics of Google about a site like that, just seemed ironic to me.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Image credit: Pascal on Flickr

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03/31/2011 04:14 pm

Honestly I think it's a bad thing that the content of a site doesn't matter - If someone is searching through images, and finds one they like, they're likely to click on that image, right? Well what happens when your 10 year old does this, and is then taken to a non-safe website? I would think the content should also play a role in image search, or that there should be some sort of warning displayed when images are clicked if the image is hosted on a site with adult content.


03/31/2011 08:13 pm

That is aweful. It appears that, in this case anyways, Google is leaning hard to the freedom of speech angle and staying away from the moral implications. They probably generate a great deal of ad revenue from allowing more risqué content through.


03/31/2011 10:28 pm

Typical Google, though. Anything to get more search results. Haven't they cottoned on to the fact that they are simultaneously whinging about quality in search?

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