In today’s world where child sexual abuse, sex slavery, and sexual violence have become rampant, Google seems to recognize that the promotion of pornography contributes to the growing public health crisis of exploitation. We applaud Google for stepping up as a global leader and for working to implement further cut backs to pornography and sexual exploitation. They have recently changed their policies to prohibit pornography and explicit content in AdWords and GooglePlay and have made some improvements with SafeSearch and YouTube, though both still need continued work. These welcome changes indicates that Google is serious about curbing sexual exploitation and we hope to see more efforts on their part.
National Center on Sexual Exploitation, formerly Morality in Media, has listed Google or its products on its annual Dirty Dozen List for the last three years in an effort to encourage changes to Google’s policies that contribute to sexual exploitation. Thousands of people and hundreds of organizations have joined NCSE’s effort to encourage Google to change its policies on sexual exploitation.
We expect Google to continue these changes across their platforms and explain below some of the remaining shortcomings.
POLICY CHANGES TO CURB EXPLOITATION:
- February 23, 2015, Google launched Youtube Kids App, which limits the content that can be viewed and gives parents more control over what kids see on YouTube. It doesn’t fix the overwhelming problem of pornography and sexually exploitive content on YouTube, but does help to protect children from unwanted exposure to the tens of thousands of hours of porn on the YouTube site currently.
- On February 23, 2015, Google announced that starting March 23, 2015, you won’t be able to publicly share images and video that are sexually explicit or show graphic nudity on Blogger. HOWEVER, Google recanted this change after receiving a flood of comments from pro-porn advocates.
- In June 2014, Google enacted policies for AdWords to no longer accept ads that promote graphic depictions of sexual acts or ads that link to websites that have such material in them.
- In 2013, Google announced that pornographic and sexually explicit apps would no longer be allowed in GooglePlay. This policy was enforced, with hundreds of apps removed from the app store, in March 2014.
- Google regularly updates and improves the Family Safety Center with great tools and ways to protect children from exploitation and other online dangers. Check it regularly!
SAY THANK YOU TO GOOGLE FOR THESE SWEEPING POLICY CHANGES!
See past NCSE efforts to get Google to change here:
Improvement Still Needed
Google recently developed a children’s channel for YouTube which significantly curbs the harms of such content for children if parents turn it on, however the filtering system is far from perfect and children are still likely to be exposed to dangerous sexual and violent content if they are on the site looking at “innocent” videos.
There is much more explanation regarding the problems with YouTube on our separate project page as NCSE has listed YouTube in its annual Dirty Dozen List for 2015. CLICK HERE to visit that page.
A search of Google Images often turns up pornographic and explicit images even for seemingly innocent search terms.
One example that has been recently fixed thanks to the organization Enough Is Enough, (we wouldn’t share an innocent term here that is currently problematic because we don’t want people to test it out) is that if a child would type in “water sports” they used to be bombarded with images of urination pornography, instead of waterskiing, snowboarding, swimming, polo, etc.
Google must do a better job of removing sexually explicit images from Google Image searches, especially when the user (often children) is expecting to view something completely different.
On February 23, 2015, Google announced that they would no longer allow pornography in the popular platform, Blogger, but after pro-porn advocates flooded their forums. On February 27th, they .recanted this change and will now allow pornography to remain if it is correctly classified as “adult content.”
Well we have news for Google; freedom of expression does not include the freedom to sexually exploit.
We will fight back! If Google is willing to cave on this, will it also give way on its other no-porn policies? I think so and am asking you to tell Google that Pornography exploits in the actions below!
From Google Directly: An update on the Blogger porn content policy
This week, we announced a change to Blogger’s porn policy stating that blogs that distributed sexually explicit images or graphic nudity would be made private.
We’ve received lots of feedback about making a policy change that impacts longstanding blogs, and about the negative impact this could have on individuals who post sexually explicit content to express their identities.
We appreciate the feedback. Instead of making this change, we will be maintaining our existing policies.
What this means for blog owners
- Commercial porn will continue to be prohibited.
- If you have pornographic or sexually explicit content on your blog, you must turn on the adult content setting so a warning will show. If a blog with adult content is brought to Google’s attention and the content warning is not active, we will turn on the warning interstitial for you. If this happens repeatedly, the blog may be removed.
- If you don’t have sexually explicit content on your blog and you’re following the rest of the Blogger Content Policy, you don’t need to make any changes to your blog.
Ask Elected Officials to Amend Communications Decency Act
Stay updated on these projects
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On February 23, 2015, Google announced that they would no longer allow pornography in the popular platform, Blogger, but after pro-porn advocates flooded their forums. On February 27th, they .recanted this change and will now allow pornography to remain if it is correctly classified as “adult content.” Well we have news for Google; freedom of […]
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I already told you about Google’s change in policy to stop all pornographic ads and ads that link to sexually explicit websites – but this win is better than we knew at first.
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