THURSDAY, February 29, 2024

Indonesia permanently bans porn images on Google

Indonesia permanently bans porn images on Google

Last week, the Communications and Information Ministry announced its plan to filter pornographic content by utilizing the SafeSearch feature in search engine Google.

Semuel A. Pangerapan, the ministry's director general of applications and information, said the policy would come into effect starting Friday.

The SafeSearch feature will be permanently activated in the search engine when it is accessed from Indonesia.

"The method will filter any pornographic content in the image category, including if a user inputs keywords," Semuel told on Thursday. 

The permanent factor means that Indonesian users cannot deactivate the feature. In addition to Google, Semuel also said the government planned to collaborate with other search engines, such as Microsoft's Bing to apply a similar filtering feature.

He said the ministry already blocked pornographic sites, but this was ineffective as the content was easily available through image searches.

"That's what we're trying to eradicate. Concerned mothers have reported that their children search for images by using pornographic words. We are using the SafeSearch method based on our year-long research," he added. 

SafeSearch is a feature in Google to filter out negative content, such as pornography. According to Google as quoted from its features page, "SafeSearch is not 100 percent accurate, but it can help you filter inappropriate content."

Semuel said internet service providers should enact their own policies regarding filtering based on SafeSearch. In the last few days, there have been rumors that the filter has affected YouTube as well, with users' status changed to "restricted" mode. 

Semuel said the feature should only be applied to Google, and that providers should not broaden it to YouTube