Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th Dec 2012 22:03 UTC
Google A change to anything related to Google Search - the product so many of us rely on - is never going to go by unnotoced. This time around, Google has altered Image Search for US users to alter the way it handles that ever so important aspect of the web - adult content.
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Adult content?
by WereCatf on Thu 13th Dec 2012 20:17 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

At what point does nudity become "adult content?" Would a simple image of a naked woman or man standing straight be adult content? Does the view of bare breasts automatically make such an image "adult content," or the sight of genitals?

I am asking this because, well, here in Finland nudity is not seen as a generally negative thing. Both adults and children often go to sauna together, for example, and this can include friends, too, not just family members. Seeing a nude person or breasts or either kind of genitals isn't automatically a detestable thing or something children must be shielded from. Take for example the Finnish movie "Rare Exports:" you can see DOZENS of naked, old men in the movie and it's still rated as a children's movie.

Why is the above even relevant? Well, because it seems there are people here who seem to think that being exposed to anything at all that generally lies underneath our clothing will make kids grow up wrong, and well, that's just inherently ignorant. Sure, straight up hardcore porn isn't possibly the most appropriate content for young eyes, but there is no good reason for removing all nudity from the 'net.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Adult content?
by UltraZelda64 on Fri 14th Dec 2012 02:32 in reply to "Adult content?"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Here in the U.S., we can't just make a big deal out of something minor. It seems that for whatever reason we have to blow it way out of proportion and extend it to condemn nearly every damn thing that is even remotely similar, and then make a huge pointless deal about everything. And usually these things are brought about by religious people, taking an extremist stance on some aspect of their religion any pushing to make everyone else abide by it just to please themselves.

The culprits are typically Christians. That religious cult tends to forbid everything that is natural and any other non-Christian beliefs, which ends up spawning outrageously nonsensical crap like this, that tends to demonize everyone and everything in existence.

Edited 2012-12-14 02:51 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Adult content?
by Dave_K on Sat 15th Dec 2012 01:20 in reply to "RE: Adult content?"
Dave_K Member since:
2005-11-16

Here in the U.S., we can't just make a big deal out of something minor. It seems that for whatever reason we have to blow it way out of proportion and extend it to condemn nearly every damn thing that is even remotely similar, and then make a huge pointless deal about everything.

...

The culprits are typically Christians.


Over here in the UK there's the same nonsense, only the culprits are typically feminists (acknowledging that there is a liberal fringe of the movement that's anti-censorship).

Where I live a coalition of feminist groups managed to shut down the local strip clubs, sex shops and porn cinema (who knew that they still existed?). Through a year or two of picketing and lobbying, and tactics like accusing their critics of being "pro-rape", they bullied the local authorities into instituting a "nil policy" for sex related businesses.

Ironically, considering your comment about Christians, one of the only "respectable" people (as opposed to the much demonised club/shop owners and employees) to speak out against their closure was a local Church of England vicar. He even joined a group of dancers from the strip clubs when they staged a counter protest.

As you'd expect, those feminist groups also push for legislation against porn on the internet, joined by various allies from across the political spectrum. Right now they're mainly campaigning for a mandatory ISP level porn filter to be instituted, with people having to opt-out if they want to access adult content. But anyone who thinks they'd be satisfied with anything less than a blanket ban in the long term is very naive. These are people who often consider even the tamest topless/bikini photos to be obscene material that causes rape.

You'd think that a relatively secular and liberal country would be a bit more tolerant of such things, but it seems like there's always another group of authoritarian prudes ready to step in and push for censorship and criminalisation.

In fact, I'd say that the UK is one definite exception to Thom's comment about America being "probably the most conservative and puritanical western country".

I know there have been obscenity trials targeting pornographers in the US, but I imagine that the First Amendment would protect individuals from being arrested merely for possessing porn. In the UK you get cases like the prosecution of Simon Walsh for possessing home made images of consenting adults:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/08/08/porn-trial-simon-walsh-a...

Edited 2012-12-15 01:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Adult content?
by galvanash on Fri 14th Dec 2012 03:35 in reply to "Adult content?"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

At what point does nudity become "adult content?"


I don't see any evidence that strict nudity is being filtered at all (even with safeSearch turned on). If I do a search for "breasts" I see lots of breasts for example - what I don't see are lots of screenies from porn movies. If I want to see those, I can search for "breasts porn" and get them. Same thing with most other body parts...

It has nothing to do with nudity, it is really about pornography.

I am asking this because, well, here in Finland nudity is not seen as a generally negative thing. Both adults and children often go to sauna together, for example, and this can include friends, too, not just family members.


While many people in the US are quite a bit more prudish about nudity, there is no denying that, I don't think this feature has anything to do with that. It is purely about culturally accepted norms (in the US anyway) - there is "tasteful" nudity and then there is porn... Most people would prefer that images that come from pornographic sites not be included in their searches when that isn't really what they were searching for in the first place.

It is a feature for the US engine after all - why shouldn't it be tailored to US sensibilities? Again - Google is not taking anything away - it is still indexed and still searchable, it's just been categorized a bit more strictly to make it harder to accidentally find it.

Why is the above even relevant? Well, because it seems there are people here who seem to think that being exposed to anything at all that generally lies underneath our clothing will make kids grow up wrong, and well, that's just inherently ignorant. Sure, straight up hardcore porn isn't possibly the most appropriate content for young eyes, but there is no good reason for removing all nudity from the 'net.


That is what bothers me about this discussion... People automatically jump to this assumption of the motivation for doing this - but that just isn't true here.

Google is not removing nudity from the internet. They are not even hiding it. They are making searching for it more explicit - i.e. a search for "penis" no longer gives you a bunch of porn pics - because maybe that really isn't what you want and since the porn pics outnumber the things that might actually be relevant by 1000 to 1, including all the porn actually makes searching less useful.

This is a technical solution to a technical problem. It makes searching for things that are NOT porn more effective - because the fact is that for every picture of the female anatomy that might be relevant to a student doing research, there are 100k or so porn pictures that will muddy up of the results. It is an improvement in the engine...

Yes, everyone uses the internet for finding porn. But it occasionally has other uses... ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2