Google Search - Throws the Door Wide Open to Inappropriate Images

UPDATE 06/14/2010: Google announces SafeSearch Lock Update as a result of feedback from educators! From their blog entry:
We’re working hard to address this issue as quickly as possible and in a few weeks we will move encrypted search to a new hostname – so schools can limit access to SSL search without disrupting other Google services, like Google Apps for Education. Longer term, we are exploring other options like moving authentication to its own hostname so that we can return encrypted search to


A week or so ago, I couldn't help but notice that image searches in Google that had been blocked before--because was blocked--were now coming up without problem.

For example, a search for dogs on

When you click on IMAGES in the sidebar, you see this image:

This certainly has implications for school districts who have been blocking Image Search on Google due to inappropriate images that pop up. In short, the blocking/content filtering going on in schools doesn't really matter:

Simply, you can take advantage of a regular Google Search and access inappropriate content. Just doing a search on the word "inappropriate" gets anyone--including K-12 students--access to content parents, teachers and others in schools don't want to see in teaching and learning situations. I was going to include a screenshot of that search but would have to blank out too much.

What will our response be as educators? Block and guard young eyes, or educate?

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


doug0077 said…
Hi Miguel,

One more step toward what Postman called "The One Big Room."

We can't stop kids from having some exposure to adult materials - we teach them to avoid when possible.

Mr. RCollins said…
We never filtered Google Images, but instead our filter allows us to at least force safe search on. It doesn't catch everything, but it helps.
Henry Thiele said…
We use a product called cipafilter that forces a safe search

Luann said…
We use Lightspeed, and use it to force the search engines that can be used. Then, we only allow search engines with “safe searches” built in (like Google and Yahoo) and then Lightspeed can force the safe search (including images.)

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