Today, Google announced that in the upcoming months, it will enable a new SafeSearch blurring setting by default for all users. The filter was made so that users and their families wouldn’t be exposed to inappropriate content by accident while using Search. The search engine claims it is announcing the new feature today to coincide with Safer Internet Day.
People who don’t already have the SafeSearch filter enabled will have this setting as their default in the near future. Explicit images that appear in search results will be muted by Google. Explicit search results may feature graphic depictions of violence or graphic descriptions of injuries. According to Google, users can change the preference whenever they like. For users under the age of 18, the filter has always been active, but this change makes it the default setting.
After SafeSearch blurring has been enabled as the default, Google will send a notification to users. In cases where an adult-oriented picture is displayed, you will be given the option to view it by clicking the “view image” button. Another option is to click “manage setting” to make changes to the filter’s parameters or disable it entirely. The “filter” option, for instance, can be used to block access to sexually explicit content like photos, videos, and websites. Alternately, you can turn this feature “off,” which will display all search results, regardless of their explicitness, that are relevant to your inquiry.
It’s important to note that SafeSearch will only filter Google search results and will not prevent you from viewing adult content on other search engines or websites you visit directly. SafeSearch isn’t perfect, but it does help filter out adult content from Google search results across images, videos, and websites, as noted by Google.
In August 2021, as lawmakers began questioning Google and other tech companies about the potential negative effects of their services on children, the company enabled SafeSearch by default for all signed-in users under the age of 18.
Since not everyone uses Google while logged into an account, the filter may not be enabled for them even if they’re under 18 years of age, Google is making it easier to ensure that children and teens don’t encounter explicit imagery by making the SafeSearch blurring setting on by default for all users. The extension reaches new audiences who might benefit from the feature but were previously unaware of its existence. The filter can be disabled in the preferences if you prefer not to use it.
Google announced last year that it would begin using AI to better filter out inappropriate results from search queries involving sexually explicit or suggestive terms, even when the user isn’t looking for them. However, Google still makes an effort to filter out inappropriate results from searches where that kind of material wasn’t specifically sought out, even if the SafeSearch filtering technology wasn’t activated. However, Google now employs AI technology called BERT to assist in determining if users are actually looking for adult material.