Google adds auto blur feature to any explicit image even if SafeSearch is turned off

Feb 9, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

Google adds auto blur feature to any explicit image even if SafeSearch is turned off

Feb 9, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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Google adds auto blur feature to any explicit image even if SafeSearch is turned off

Google is rolling out a safer image search feature over the coming months that will blur any images that it deems explicit. It will apparently do this automatically using AI, even if the Safe Search feature is deactivated. Google has apparently initiated this to celebrate ‘Safe Internet Day’.

The news was announced yesterday in a blog post and is aimed at keeping families and young children safer when online. There will also be advances in privacy features in addition to the image-blurring tool.

The announcement says that the blur setting “will be the new default for people who don’t already have the SafeSearch filter turned on, with the option to adjust settings at any time.”

Google adds auto blur feature to any explicit image even if SafeSearch is turned off

SafeSearch already filters out any dubious results for any users under 18. However, this filter will give searchers the option to view the image, but with the warning that it may contain explicit content.

Essentially it’s not so different from the warnings given over explicit content filters deployed by Meta on Facebook and Instagram. Giving people the choice of whether or not to view such content can only be positive in general.

However, given that the feature is using AI to flag such images does demand some investigation into which types of images are being blurred, and subsequent arguments about image censorship must surely follow.

Last month Instagram was advised to reconsider its policies on image censorship following an investigation by its advisory board. The board found that there was a direct correlation between image censorship and discrimination against women and the LGBTQ communities.

[Via Gizmodo]

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Alex Baker

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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5 responses to “Google adds auto blur feature to any explicit image even if SafeSearch is turned off”

  1. Joost Wierenga Avatar
    Joost Wierenga

    but I like explicit images?

    1. Alex Baker Avatar
      Alex Baker

      Joost Wierenga you just can’t see them by ‘accident’ now 😉

    2. Dunja Đuđić Avatar
      Dunja Đuđić

      Joost Wierenga exactly my thought hahahaha

    3. Charles Howse, Photographer Avatar
      Charles Howse, Photographer

      Joost Wierenga it’s not about what you like. It’s all about what the masters want you to like.

  2. Marco Peixoto Avatar
    Marco Peixoto

    Puritanism… so goooddddd….