Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Turn Safesearch off?

To start with, people looking for an  immediate solution can get the results they want by being more specific about their searches. For instance, if you are searching for 'human body', you might want to add a few extra keywords like 'naked', 'nude' etc.

I was wondering what happened to the Safesearch button on my Google search page. Then I stumbled on Google SafeSearch Changes Hit the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and More [CONFIRMED] | WebProNews  and things seemed clear.

Well, it does seem sad that in essence Google has started censoring our search results, but I can understand why Google might think this is a good feature to add. In the earlier situation, one could change the Safesearch option between Strict,  Moderate and Off. While that sounds fine, it's possible that just before I sat at the computer, someone has changed the settings to Off. So when I search for a relatively safe term, I still get explicit results. I have gotten 'dirty' results this way even for the most unexpected terms, for instance 'mother'. Now this could serve a nightmare esp for parents of young kids. What happens when stuff like this pops up when your kid is 'Googling' for his history homework?

On the other hand, I'm not too happy about getting censored results. 'Censorship' just doesn't feel right. I cannot disagree when someone says they want to see ALL relevant results when they search for a term.

So there is one main concern on either side.

The Google side - We don't want explicit results popping out for search terms unless specifically searched for.

The Other side -  We want to see ALL results pertaining to a search term, no censorship.

The Solution?

Hmm, Google could have a Safesearch button that automatically toggles to ON everytime a new search window opens. When clicked it would turn OFF but only for that window. When the window is closed, Safesearch is back to ON.


That way Google can have a 'safe' search  by default and the search purists can have a truly relevant search when they want it. I think that sounds good.

The question does arise if kids will not use this method too but for that matter, if they wanted to find stuff they still can, even with the existing system. Lets see if they get this done, or maybe even something smarter.

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