Porn, porn everywhere. I know that excites a lot of people, but it doesn’t excite us parents when search engines make it so easy to find.
Of the big search engines, there is nothing as bad as Yahoo Video Search. There kids can watch hard core porn within seconds. Google’s videos do not (at least yet) contain pornographic clips, but their images database contains pornographic images. If I were a 13 year old boy again, I’d be keying the names of all sorts of female body parts into the searches and getting quite an eyeful. So, what’s a parent to do?
Obviously, you can install a porn filter on your computer to block porn from the web pages and email. But, these programs sometime can hamper other searches and slow down your system a little. Google and the other search engines have settings for filtering what comes up on their search pages. Sure, anyone can then set them off, but if you are lucky you child will not know about these settings. We’ll focus on Google’s SafeSearch Settings, but you’ll find similar procedures for the other search engines if you look around.
In Google, you set your SafeSearch preferences from the Preferences page. You have three options:
- Moderate filtering excludes most explicit images from Google Image Search results but doesnâ€™t filter ordinary web search results. This is your default SafeSearch setting; youâ€™ll receive moderate filtering unless you change it.Â Â
Strict filtering applies SafeSearch filtering to all your search results (i.e., both image search and ordinary web search).
No Filtering, as youâ€™ve probably figured out, turns off SafeSearch filtering completely.
Unfortunately, the web pages tell the user if SafeSearch is on. The regular web page search puts a “SafeSearch On” note up at the top right of the heading area where it tell you how many pages were found. There may not be many kids that notice this. However, the Image Search results page makes it very obvious to any user what the SafeSearch setting is. Plus, it it links to the Preferences page so junior can go right in there change it himself.
Apparently, Google was not thinking of parents with children when they created this. It’s obvious it is designed for users who wish to limit their own viewing.
Oh, importantly, SafeSearch only works if you are using the English interface.
I’d like to know what parents out there are doing about this situation, and from others who might know of ways to force Google into Strict SafeSearch mode.
Note: Speaking of Google and porn, I just now saw this article in Forbes that discusses how one porn site is suing Google for “stealing” their images and profiting from them.