Parental controls are a great way to keep your child’s internet browsing safe and clean. Unfortunately, Apple seems to have gone a little too far in its search for a dirt-free Internet experience. In iOS 14, users with the “Restrict Adult Websites” privacy option enabled will not be able to see content with the word “Asian” in the URL.
Correctly. When this setting is enabled, you will not be able to search for “Asian” in any browser on your Apple device. Not just the word for itself. “Asian Food”, “Asian Politics”, “Asian Beaches”, “Asian Businesses” – all of this is prohibited.
Apparently, the “Restrict Adult Sites” setting prevents users from searching for terms that are popular pornographic categories, such as “mature” or “teen”. Oddly enough, other racist terms like “Korean”, “French” etc. are not as restricted as “Asian”. Furthermore, the setting only seems to affect iPads and iPhones in this way. Mac computers running macOS can still display search results for “Asian” with “Restrict Adult Websites” turned on.
According to The Independent, iOS developer Steven Shen first brought the problem to light. In a tweet, Shen said he reported the problem to Apple “a long time ago” but received no response from the company. He doesn’t believe that someone coded this on purpose, but that it is the result of an AI slip.
Even so, it’s worrying to see the word “Asian” being viewed as an inappropriate search term even by an AI mishap. It indicates the fetishization of people because of their ethnicity in the porn industry. Kate Isaacs, the founder of NotYourPorn, which raises awareness of injustices in adult entertainment, told The Independent: “It’s annoying that an Asian person could innocently look for representation online only to find tech companies exclusive consider something NSFW. “
Apparently, this isn’t the first time Apple’s content filters have been choppy. Previously, you couldn’t search for “safe sex” with the filters enabled, but you could still visit a neo-Nazi news site or look for steps to join a terrorist group. Hopefully the latest bug in the content filter will be fixed soon.
(Source: The Independent)