Google Is Blocking Porn (Duh, NSFW) (Updated)

We didn't see this coming: Google Image Search is no longer showing sexually explicit images for many popular queries. What the hell is going on?

Searching for "tits" brings up a grid of busty women in tank tops, mostly. Before now, you would have seen actual skin. As far as we can tell, SafeSearch is now locked on. You can enable "Filter explicit results" from the SafeSearch button, but that eliminates all results entirely for something like "tits" or "pussy." Your choices are SafeSearch or SuperSafeSearch. There's no way to turn it off. More explicit text searches—"titfuck" or "anal penetration"—stil yields porny results. But the usual standbys? Scrubbed clean. A Bing search for the same words gives up a world of raunch.

Readers outside of the US say they're not experiencing any of this, so it could be an American issue. We've reached out to Google for an explanation of the sanitized results.

Update: Google admits to the change in a statement to CNET:

"We are not censoring any adult content, and want to show users exactly what they are looking for — but we aim not to show sexually-explicit results unless a user is specifically searching for them. We use algorithms to select the most relevant results for a given query. If you're looking for adult content, you can find it without having to change the default setting — you just may need to be more explicit in your query if your search terms are potentially ambiguous. The image search settings now work the same way as in Web search."

Which appears to be true. An image search for, say, "naked tits" shows what "tits" used to. You just have type exactly what you want to see. But who is typing "tits" and not expecting porn? This is still obfuscation.

Google Is Blocking Porn (Duh, NSFW) (Updated)

Google Is Blocking Porn (Duh, NSFW) (Updated)

Google Is Blocking Porn (Duh, NSFW) (Updated)

Google Is Blocking Porn (Duh, NSFW) (Updated)

Google Is Blocking Porn (Duh, NSFW) (Updated)