The filtering game

So it’s just a little irresponsible, making light of the oh-so-serious subject of filtering? And besides, those wishing to get around filters will be able to use this page, henceforth as a resource? So I’m encouraging people to break the law?

Er, no. Government has stated repeatedly that all that needs to happen is for ISP’s and their ilk to fit “porn filters”. Like so many such debates, we have got tied up in matters of high principle, with very few people actually taking a look at what is involved.

So this page is intended to be collaborative effort, highlighting what some of the majoring filter systems block, what not. Its an easy game to start with. Take any pc, any piece of software and toggle filters on and off. Then search – or click – and report back here what goes missing. Anything you find that is interesting, please just drop me a line.

However – absolute disclaimer! – anything that relates directly to unlawful material, particularly url’s, will not be published. And if I receive any material relating to child abuse, do not expect me to do anything than to report it – and you – directly to the police.

Otherwise, here’s a starter for ten.

Google SafeSearch

The following words cause google to have a near fit, bringing up the following message: “The word “blah” has been filtered from the search because Google SafeSearch is active.”.

Bdsm: figures!

Bondage: A shame for teenagers researching the perfectly respectable novel “Of Human Bondage”

Cock: ah, yes! This is a US issue, because over there, the male chicken is known as a rooster. Who says blocking is not a cultural issue? Oddly, google does NOT block “Dick” (presumably because they have had a few presidents associated with that name – at least one eponymously) and “Prick”

Cunt: We-ell, of course they’d block this.. .

Erotic: just in case pornographers try to get artful!

Fetish: Of course (although “paraphilia” sneaks through)

Lolita: Bye-bye Nabokov. I hope no-one is studying you for A-level!

Naked: because of course nakedness is a sin. It says so in the Bible (thanks to Heresiarch for this one!)

Nude: also of course, because if naked is out, nude must be also! Just a shame for those studying artistic form.

Pervert: blocked (which is a shame for headline writers determined to condemn horrid perverts), although “perv” slips through

Porn: because if you’re looking for pron, you’d never type anything other than p0rn, would you?

Pussy: Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been? Hmmm. Nowhere, according to Google SafeSearch, which also removes reference to interesting cultural phenomena such as Pussy Riot

Shemale: An unfortunate block. In the UK and US, this is often associated with a particular sexual proclivity – but in other cultures, it is a fairly standard word for transsexual

XXX: This is blocked, though oddly, “XXXX” is not blocked…presumably because the latter is a beer and pornographers would never think to add an extra ‘X’.

If you are searching images, certain pictures just don’t appear: a great deal of toplessness, including male toplessness, just disappears

The following search string is interesting, given Mr Cameron’s claim a) that he will regulate to force filtering if they are not implemented and b) he does not wish to regulate to block the Sun’s page 3: page 3

With SafeSearch on, this blocks most of Page 3. In other words, Page 3 is already filtered!

Re-assuringly, google has not blocked either “spit roast” or “tea-bagging” – perhaps because no-one dared explain to them what these things might otherwise mean.

Send in your findings

Remember, this is an ongoing project. So if you find out something about how filters work, please let me know – because the politicians and bods who market them sure as hell don’t!



3 Responses to The filtering game

  1. Pingback: My Rex Harrison moment (with added porn filters) | Sex Matters

  2. So wait… if someone writes the phrase “the naked truth” on their webpage, does Google safesearch block that webpage, or the entire site?

  3. davidwaldock says:

    If cunt is blocked, is Scunthorpe blocked?

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