Several readers sent word of a change to Google's implementation of SafeSearch for image searches
. There used to be three settings: Off, Moderate, and Strict. (You can still see these settings on, for example, Google's UK image search
.) Now, for U.S. users they've made Moderate the default, and the only other option is to "Filter Explicit Results." Going into settings provides no way to turn it off. That said, Google still lets users search for explicit content
if the search terms they enter are specific to that type of content. A Google rep said, "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."