Google Blocks Porn Searches?

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We don’t like to admit it, or at least some, that when searching for one thing it somehow brings up a porn site. I know that key words will bring up a site, but when searching I try to be detailed as possible not to find myself looking at a porn site (when I don’t want to). How is this possible? How can porn sites be blocked? David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister thinks he has a bright Idea.

His idea is to just, make the search engines not return a result for a list of banned words and phrases. As usual, with a politician sparking the synapses this isn’t a very good idea, indeed it would be, as one writer puts it, applying a tourniquet to the First Amendment (not that the UK has one of those, but you get the idea). For the problem is that language is pretty complex. It is indeed true that there are combinations of words that are used to describe certain sexual practices that we might not want the little children to see pictures of.

But leave that aside and look at the actual details of what is being proposed. You put a search term into Google, and Cameron’s insistence is that if your term is naughty, then Google should return no results. Which is something that Techcrunch have looked at. Apple already has a version of this sort of filtering in Safari, so they tried searching for a few things inside that. This is the list of things that they couldn’t gain access to:

BLOCKED: “Child Pornography Prevention Programs”
BLOCKED: “Rick Santorum”
BLOCKED: “Weiner Sex Scandal”
BLOCKED: “TechCrunch.com”
BLOCKED: “Dick Costolo” (CEO of Twitter)
BLOCKED: “Jefferson sex with slaves”
BLOCKED: “Tumblr’s porn problem”
BLOCKED: “Sexual reconstructive surgery”
BLOCKED: “How to tell my boyfriend I don’t want to have sex”
BLOCKED: “How to put on a condom”
BLOCKED: “Pussy Riot”
BLOCKED: “Adult Film Industry and expansion of broadband“

We use words in combination, they can have varying meanings in themselves, and the same phrases can be used in entirely different circumstances. Which means that to truly bock access to porn itself, you’ve got to block just about anything and everything that could possibly be referring to something sexual. Which, for a mammalian species like us, where so much of what we do is ultimately about sex and the pursuit of it, means that to filter out the porn you’ve got to filter out most of the Internet. Or, as they say, “The (very) savvy engineers at Apple have already discovered that you have to apply a tourniquet to the First Amendment to effectively block children from seeing naughty pictures.”

I know that at one time there was an Internet provider that offered to block things obscene and not right for your eyes. I do think it was a Christian based provider. But I feel it’s up to the parents to install such software to disable the web browser for those key words or phrases, I don’t think it’s up to the search engine such as Google. I don’t think that Google would ever do anything that takes away from searching a key phrase or word, because if they did many people would use those other search engines.

Forrest L. Rawls

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