iPhone, iPad users can’t Google search the word “Asian” because Apple’s adult filters think it’s probably all porn

By: |
February 8, 2021 4:29 PM

Selecting the setting for “limit adult websites” would block any site having words like “Asian” in the URL, including Google’s search results.

iPhone search filtersMeanwhile, search phrases like “teen”, “mature” and “amateur” are also being restricted.

Browser restrictions on iPhone, iPad: The adult filter feature in Apple iPhones and iPads is automatically blocking the search for any phrase containing the word “Asian”. The content filters are blocking out even search phrases like “Asian food” if a user has enabled the setting to limit adult websites. The filters had been ushered in by the iPhone maker to allow parents to restrict certain content for their children, allowing them to choose between “unrestricted” access, “limit adult websites” and “allowed websites only”.

Selecting the setting for “limit adult websites” would block any site having words like “Asian” in the URL, including Google’s search results.

Through these restrictions, not only iPhone’s default Safari, but even third-party browsers like Blaze and Chrome, block out such search words. However, search phrases containing words like “Korean”, “Arab” or “French”, which are also popular categories on adult websites containing pornographic content, are not being filtered out due to this feature, which indicates that the word “Asian” is being restricted for seemingly no reason.

Meanwhile, search phrases like “teen”, “mature” and “amateur” are also being restricted.

However, searching for these terms in the in-built search bar shows the meaning of the word, linked to Oxford Dictionary, and content from mails and installed apps containing the word. It’s only browsing the word that is restricted.

The problem had first been noticed by Steven Shen, an iOS developer, back in 2019 and he wrote to Cupertino apprising it of the situation. However, after the company did not take any cognisance of the issue, the developer wrote about the issue on microblogging site Twitter recently.

Content filter settings can be enabled by going to Settings, and then to “Screen Time”. In this, users would see the option of “Content & Privacy Restrictions”, in which upon heading to “Content Restrictions”, users would see the option of “Web Content”. In this, users can choose to set it to “Unrestricted”, “Limit Adult Websites” or “Allowed Websites Only”.

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